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Property division: Who gets custody of the pooch?

One may not tend to think of dogs as objects with monetary value. In fact, most individuals think of their pets as treasured members of the family. During a divorce in Florida, however, the dogs are considered property and are part of the property division portion of the divorce agreement. 

Who gets the dogs after the end of the marriage? It will depend on several factors. Did the dog belong to one of the parties before the marriage? Who was the primary caregiver for the dog? A judge will take these facts into consideration as well as who will be better prepared to care for the pets, the safety of the pet and whether the pet should stay with any minor children. 

There is no firm guideline set for deciding ownership of the pets after a divorce. This will need to be negotiated between both parties much like the other property in a divorce. If the two soon-to-be ex-spouses cannot come to an agreement, a judge may have to choose the fate of the family pets. 

Hopefully, the two individuals will be able to come to a conclusion that is in the best interest of the safety and well-being of the pets as well as the desires of their human owners. Property division can sometimes be a contentious issue during a divorce, and an individual may wish for help. Some individuals in Florida choose to hire an experienced family law attorney to represent them and assist them with the details of divorce. 

Source:, "Who gets the dogs in a divorce?", Ron Sokol, Aug. 22, 2017

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