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Shillington, Pennsylvania Family Law and Estate Planning Blog

How are pets handled in divorce?

Posted by Rob Levengood | Apr 09, 2018 | 0 Comments

Your pets are a part of the family. When you get a divorce in Pennsylvania, it may become a struggle to figure out where the pets go. Do you get them or your spouse? Who has the right to a pet? Are pets handled by the courts in the same way as children? When it comes to Pennsylvania law, CBS explains that pets are considered property in a divorce.

This can make things difficult. You probably do not look at your pet as property, like it is a piece of furniture or a car. The idea of dividing the ownership of pets based upon property rules can be upsetting, but that is the way the law sees pets. In fact, the highest court in the state set precedence in a case involving a man trying to get visitation rights for his dog after a divorce. The ruling became known as Barney's law and stated clearly that pets are property. They are not subject to vistation and other custody rights. It also says that whoever has physical custody of the pet gets to keep it, and even custody agreements that may have been included in a divorce agreement are not enforceable.

So, to understand how pet ownership is handled, you have to look to the laws on the division of property in divorce law. Generally, this means that the court will look at when the pet was purchased and who purchased it to determine who it belongs to. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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Rob Levengood



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