Family law applies to many areas of a divorce. Child custody, a division of assets and alimony are all popular topics in any divorce. There is one more area that often needs discussion.
Who gets to keep the family pet?
Dogs and cats become part of the family so letting them go is not always an easy thing to do. If a divorcing couple cannot decide on who gets to keep the family pet, there are ways for a court to arrive at that decision.
People sometimes consider pets a part of the family, but the Texas court system does not see it that way. Texas court views pets as property, which means the community property rule applies to pets. Community property is defined is property that was acquired during the marriage.
There are a few ways to gain custody of your pet, all of which require proof that the pet is separate property. If you purchased the pet prior to the marriage, a bill of sale or veterinary bills will suffice as proof. Although it is more difficult to prove, you could attempt to claim that the pet was given to you before the marriage. Another way is to prove that your pet is separate property was to show that a loved one who passed on willed it to you.
If there is no way to prove that your pet is separate property, and there can be no agreement reached between parties, a judge will rule on who gets possession of a pet.
Other pets, such as horses and show animals, are deemed valuable assets. If a couple cannot agree on ownership of these kinds of pets, then the judge is likely to order the pet to be sold and then distribute the funds accordingly.
Pets are important to people and parting with them can be a difficult part of a divorce. If you are facing or considering a divorce, make it much easier on yourself by choosing Hixson Law Firm to represent you. Our attorneys are sympathetic to every situation and will work to meet the needs of all our clients in Mansfield, Arlington, Grand Prairie and other nearby communities.