When a couple that once shared everything together decides to dissolve their marriage and go their separate ways, knowing how to divide a household up can be difficult. While the physical assets can always be replaced, a family pet cannot.

Your pet is a lot like your child. You care for it, feed it, and do what you can to give it the best life possible. When it comes time to decide who gets to keep the pet in a San Francisco divorce, the decision may not be easy. It is something that we see many couples faced with in our San Francisco family law firm, and we know it’s a decision that can weigh heavy on your heart.

As you negotiate with your ex-spouse who will get the family pet, here are a few considerations that will help with the decision:

  1. The pet should stay with the kids. Divorce is hard on children as it is. Making them say goodbye to the family pet will only make the situation even more difficult. As a rule, if you are getting a divorce and children are involved, keep the pet with the children.
  2. The pet should go to the most proactive owner. Who fed the pet the most? Who is most able to be there for the pet to go on walks and play? Looking at the best interest of your pet will sometimes provide clarity over who is most suited to look after your animal and give it a great life.
  3. When multiple pets are involved, it may be okay to divide them up. If you had more than one animal in your home, dividing up your pets may not be a bad thing. If each owner is equally capable of taking care of the pet, splitting the animals can be a solution to your pet woes. 

Saying goodbye to a family pet is tough. If you need help negotiating the terms of your divorce, a San Francisco divorce attorney can make your life a little bit easier. The entire staff at the Law Offices of Paul H. Nathan will work with you to make the transition out of your marriage as easy as possible.


Paul Nathan
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Marin County California Divorce, Child Support and Custody Lawyer Representing Women Exclusively
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