What Will Happen To My Pets If I Get Divorced?

Most divorces or separations are complicated, even if the couple split on good terms. Choosing who children get to live with, who gets what property and if either partner has to pay child support can be difficult. However, one of the hardest things for couples who don’t have children is often deciding what happens to their pets.

Luckily, there are precedents that can help you decide which partner gets to keep the pet. However, these decisions aren’t always easy to make. If you and your former partner both want to keep the dog, you may need to employ the services of an experienced family lawyer who can help you settle the dispute in the courts.

Pets Are Seen As Property

As much as you love your pets and probably think of them like children, Australian law unfortunately doesn’t see things the same way. Under Australia law, pet’s are seen as property in the family courts, which means that they will be included in any property settlement disputes.

This also means that, unlike for children and dependants, separated couples won’t be awarded ‘share care’ of their pets. If you go through the courts, one partner will be awarded full custody. The only way to have some sort of share care arrangement would be to sort it out informally and amicably. However, if you decide to do this, you should consider whether the arrangement is in the pet’s best interest.

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