Pets And Divorce: Part One- Who Gets Custody?

June 28th, 2016

boy and dogDo you, like many people, view your pets as part of the family?   If you do, then what happens to “Fido” and “Fluffy” during a divorce?  Our Portland Oregon divorce lawyer advises.

In this three-part series about pets and divorce, we’ll look at how Oregon law views pets, tips to help maintain custody of your animals, and questions to ask yourself before telling your Portland divorce lawyer to seek custody.

Pets Are Property

You may treat pets are full-fledged members of the family, but the law does not. All 50 states view pets as property.  

This means your pets are in the same category as houses, boats, and cars.  Therefore, getting shared custody of your dog is like getting shared custody of your television set.

Determining Who Gets The Pets

In Oregon, the court must first decide if the pet is property of the marriage or property brought into the marriage.  Then, the court decides on who gets the pet.

In determining pet ownership the court will look at documents like vet bills, adoption papers, food receipts, and photographs.

If children are involved, judges are likely to award the pets to the parent with primary custody.

Hopefully, you and your divorce lawyer can work with your future ex-spouse and their attorney to reach an equitable solution concerning your pets.

If you have questions about pets and divorce in Portland OR contact Ronald Johnston Family Law here.

More in the series:

Pets And Divorce: Part Two

Pets And Divorce: Part Three

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