The story is as old as time: you meet someone, you fall in love, you get a pet together, you get married, then you live happily-ever-after until life gets too real and you divorce. So, what happens to the pet that you’ve adopted together?
People might not think that separating couples have to think about the pets as much as they do the children – but that is not entirely true. When two people come together but then divorce and there is a pet involved, there is still a lot that needs to be decided. Pets are like kids too, and they need stability in their life as well. So when two pet parents are going through a divorce, it very much can stress the pets out as well – particularly if they’re being fought over. So, now a current trend that is emerging is to have a pet-prenup signed.
When we think of prenups we imagine rich older gentlemen getting married for the fifth time to someone 20 years their junior. But there is a lot more to prenups. They can be a great way to protect assets of all kinds. Apparently that includes pets!
More and more couples are choosing to sign pet prenups as a way of keeping things clear and amicable in the event of a divorce. In fact, lots of lawyers are seeing a significant rise in the number of people who are including their dogs and cats into their prenups. It is becoming something so common, that now you can find actual legal advice on the subject matter online! The pet-prenups are proving to be a great idea to help couples avoid being like the 2014 couple in New York, who’s legal battle over their pet ended them up in court.
Another reason that pet-prenups can prove to be so useful is that pets are unfortunately viewed as property. This means that without a pet prenup, pets will be divided up the same as any other asset. However, there are things that you can do if you haven’t drawn up an official pet-prenup. For example, if your name is on the adoption paperwork or proof of purchase, then the pet would legally be considered yours rather than your partner’s. As well, the person in the relationship who can provide most proof of care – like vet bills, food receipts, etc. then it’ll be easier to argue the right to custody in the event of a divorce.
Of course, there will always be a bit of a litigation battle on your hands if you don’t have an official pet-prenup drawn up beforehand. While we all want to believe that our love and marriage will last forever, sometimes we need to be a little realistic when it comes to the care for our pets.
What do you guys think of the pet-prenups? Let us know!