Who gets the pets in a divorce can be a very emotional and contested issue. Pets are considered property and are divided like other property in a Pasco County divorce.
Therefore, if you have a pet you had before the marriage, the pet is considered your separate property, and you would be entitled to keep the pet. Also, if you received a pet as a gift during the marriage, that pet would also be your separate property, and you can keep it after the divorce.
If the pet was acquired during the marriage and was not a gift, it will be divided like other assets. If you two can work out an agreement about the pets that is generally best. If there are multiple pets, you could split them between the two of you.
You could also agree to some type of sharing arrangement similar to child custody arrangements. The biggest problem with sharing the pets, however, is that it will mean your ex-spouse will be involved in your life for some period in the future, which may not be what either of you wants.
If you two cannot agree on who gets the pets in your Florida divorce, the judge will decide. Even though they are property, the judge will usually consider who is able to best care for the pets, as well as who has the greatest bond with the pets.
You may want to introduce evidence that would be in your favor, such as showing who normally cares for the pets on a daily basis.
Hopefully, you two can figure out an arrangement on what will work best for both you and the pets. If not, you need to make a strong case in front of the judge about why the pets should be awarded to you.
If you need help in your Florida divorce, call Florida divorce attorney Dale Bernstein at 727-478-3250. He works with clients in Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties in Florida. Call to learn more.