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Divorce, property division and pets

On Behalf of | Mar 22, 2024 | Family Law

Divorce can be a complex and emotional process. This is particularly true when it comes to deciding the fate of beloved pets.

The division of pets in a divorce can be a challenging issue for couples to navigate, as pets are often seen as family members and hold significant emotional value. It is important to review this facet of divorce carefully.


When it comes to dividing pets in a divorce, there are several factors to consider. The first step is to determine who will have primary custody of the pets. This decision may depend on factors such as who primarily cares for the pets, who has the resources to provide for them and who has the strongest bond with the animals. In some cases, couples may choose to share custody of their pets, similar to a child custody arrangement. This can involve creating a visitation schedule for the pets, dividing responsibilities for their care, and ensuring they receive adequate attention and affection from both parties.

If sharing custody is not feasible, couples may need to negotiate a fair division of the pets. This could involve one party keeping certain pets while the other party takes ownership of others. It is important to consider the well-being and happiness of the pets when making these decisions, as they may experience stress or anxiety during the transition.


In cases where couples cannot agree on the division of pets, mediation or heading to court may be necessary to reach a resolution. It is important to approach these discussions with a focus on what is best for the pets and to prioritize their welfare above personal preferences or conflicts. According to the Florida Courts, the state treats pets as personal property during divorce. Ultimately, the division of pets in a divorce requires sensitivity, communication and a willingness to cooperate for the well-being of the animals involved.

By approaching this aspect of divorce with empathy and understanding, couples can ensure that their pets receive the care and attention they need to thrive in their new living arrangements. Couples should try to minimize stress and ensure that their furry family members continue to receive the love and attention they deserve.