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Who gets the dog? 3 FAQs for determining pet custody

It feels like everything is falling apart and everyone is choosing sides, but who is going to get to keep the family dog? You bought him years ago when things were different. You trained him together and playfully argued about who had to take the dog out after dinner.

Now that one of you is moving, it’s time to determine where Fido will live too.

Here are a few FAQs on who gets to keep feeding the family pet

If we can’t decide, who does?

Obviously, it would be ideal to be able to come to an agreement without having to involve anyone else, but when you’ve both spent so much time building a relationship with the family pet, making that decision can be difficult.

If you and your soon-to-be-ex are not able to decide on your own, you can resolve it either in court or in mediation. Just like any of the other assets you acquired during your marriage.

How is the decision made?

While there are a few states that will treat the decision more like child custody, Florida is not one of them. Instead, the decision will be made more like the pet is any other asset that you acquired during the marriage.

Often, if one person brought the pet into the marriage, the pet stays with that person as their non-marital property. If the pet was purchased after the marriage, it’s going to come down to who can better care for the pet.

What about joint custody or pet-sharing?

If this is an option you and your ex can agree on, that will have to be something between the two of you. Since the Florida courts see pets more like chairs than children, the court is unlikely to create a pet-sharing situation.

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