How Pets are Divided in a Texas Divorce

One of the most important members of the household is the family pet. However, when a married couple divorces, who will have custody of the family pet?

According to Texas family law, pets are considered property—just like homes, vehicles, bank accounts, and other assets. Since Texas is a community property state, the judge will determine the pet’s monetary value and which spouse gets to keep it. The spouse who doesn’t keep the pet will be given different assets that have roughly the same value.

The following are several factors the court considers when deciding who keeps the family pet:

  • Who primarily takes care of the pet?
  • Who buys pet food?
  • Who pays for the vet bills?
  • Who provides the best possible care for the pet after divorce?

However, if one spouse bought the pet prior to the marriage or the pet was given as a gift or inheritance, it is considered separate property. This type of property remains with the original spouse who owns it.

Since pets are treated as property, they are not subject to custody laws and court proceedings—like children. Yet, divorcing couples can reach an agreement—outside of the courtroom—to determine the custody plan and visitation schedule.

Divorce can be an emotionally overwhelming experience, which is why having the family pet on your side during the divorce process and after the divorce is finalized can be of significant help. To ensure you get the most favorable outcome possible, having an experienced lawyer on your side can make a huge difference.

For more information about divorce in Fort Worth, contact The Clark Law Firm today at (817) 435-4970 and schedule a complimentary consultation.


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