In a past post, we suggested including a provision for who will have custody of beloved pets in a final divorce decree. A recent New York Times article takes that advice one step farther and recommends that couples planning to marry create a “pet-nup.”
A petnup is like it sounds – a prenuptial agreement that decides in advance who gets the family pets if the marriage fails. Although the article doesn’t mention it, you could also have a post-petnup agreement drawn up for pets obtained while you are married.
In all but three states (California, Illinois, and Alaska), pets are still considered property in a divorce. These forward-thinking states, however, are allowing judges to “consider the well-being of the animal, as well as who provided its care, in working out custody agreements” for the pets.
Until Texas recognizes pets as something other than just a “thing” to be divided evenly, consider deciding in advance who should have custody of the family pets or if you will share custody, like the client in our earlier post decided to do. And if we can help, give us a call.