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Pets are commonplace in UK households and often likened to human members of the family. How often have you heard people say that they prefer their pets (generally dogs!) to people. Over the lockdown period, sales of dogs have increased massively ad helped many people with mental health issues and anxiety concerns.
Under English law, pets are considered chattels similar to cars, jewellery and furniture. Anyone who has had a pet knows their value and their undivided loyalty.
But what should happen to the family pet upon divorce? This is becoming an increasingly common issue as is one that we at Ramsdens take very seriously.
Purchase and registration are often considered to weigh heavily in the determination of any dispute regarding who should keep the family pet but also take into consideration who is the pet’s primary carer; who contributed financially to the pet food and veterinary bills; whether there is a pre-nup (also known as a pet-nup) in place; what are the parties respectful financial position.
The court may be inclined to find that the age and health of a party require them to have the pet. If the pet was purchased for a specific reason (for example a to help with a disability), then this has to be considered an important factor.
Specific arrangements can also be made for sharing time with your pet, which can be particularly useful when children are sharing their time with parents.
It is clear that pets are an important aspect of separation and we will deal with any issues as meticulously as usual.
Our friendly solicitors are ready to help you kick start divorce proceedings today. Contact us for a free, no-obligation chat by calling 01484 821 500 or complete our online contact form and we will be in touch at a time that is convenient for you.