Divorcing Spouses Usually Look on Their Pets as Family Members

Regardless of the Law's Characterization of Pets as Mere Property, Divorcing Spouses Usually Look on Their Pets as Family Members

Posted by Janet Langjahr

In a significant number of divorces, the divorcing couple have one or more pets.

Under the law, pets are characterized as property and treated accordingly.

But some, if not all, family members, think of family pets as part of the family, even like children.

And the fate of the family pet or pets in divorce court can be complicated ... and cold.

A pet health information website recently sponsored a study of the role and influence of pets in family life. It can be substantial.

Among other things, the survey concluded that a whopping ninety percent of pet parents (sometimes called "owners") would give up money in a divorce in exchange for their pets and fight harder over their pets than over money.

Domestic abusers often use family pets to exert control over their victims. And victims of domestic abuse often remain with their abuser longer than they otherwise would out of concern for their pets