• Andrea Fox

Dogs and Divorce

Yes, you read that right. Dogs and divorces. I have gone to court more than once when the couple could not agree on who would get the dog in a divorce. I know an attorney who did a full day trial on who got the couple's pet parrot! Pets are important, and they can be a real issue in a divorce.

While there is no set law on pets in divorces, this is my observation on what the court seemed to care about when ruling on where the dog would go:

1) Who primarily took care of the dog: Generally in a household, one person does more of the pet care. Who fed the dog? Who took the dog to the vet? Who took the dog to the groomer? If you can produce records or testimony about these factors, the court fill find it important.

2) Who bonded with the dog? Dogs often bond with one person more than the other. So, if the dog consistently came with you on walks, snuggled up to you at family barbeques, and came with you when you went to Home Depot - it needs to be shown at trial.

3) What else are you getting? In Montana, property is weighed based upon what is "Fair and equitable." So, if one person is getting a lot more stuff, the court might weigh where the dog goes based on who is getting what property. The statute on this is here.

All in all - people can usually figure out who gets which pets. But, if you can't, it can help to have counsel in your corner. To schedule a consult with Andrea Fox, Kalispell divorce lawyer, give us a call today 4062040757!

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