man and dog sitting on beach

Divorce is not usually a happy event for many couples. Apart from the pain of separating from your spouse, there is also the trouble of sharing the property that you own. The main thing that makes the headlines during a lot of divorce cases, is determining who takes custody of the kids. In recent years, reliable means of determining custody of kids have been innovated over time. However, when it comes to taking custody of pets, a lot of questions still remain unanswered.

Problems Associated With Pet Custody

The key issue with pet custody is that pets are often viewed as personal belongings, in the same way, that you view a couch. This is due to the fact that family courts are not required to consider the wishes and feelings of t a pet, in the same way a child’s feelings are considered. This is why sometimes, the person who paid for the dog is given custody without considering other factors.

In recent years, progress has been made in the area of jurisdiction on pet custody during a divorce. In 2014, the government of France promoted pets from being viewed as personal property to living beings. In Portugal, ownership of pets has become an important part of every divorce case since 2017. In 2021, a judge in Madrid, Spain made a rule of joint custody in a case involving an unmarried couple. Despite the progress, a large gap still exists when it comes to pet custody.

Solutions to Problems of Pet Custody During a Divorce

There are some approaches that can be employed in order to avoid lengthy conflicts, over the custody of pets.

  • Add A Pet Clause In Your Prenup: It might seem far-fetched but an agreement regarding the fate of the pet, in the event of separation can save you a whole world of trouble. Some of the details that should be agreed upon include the ownership and custody, arrangement for care of the pet as well expenses. Doing this at a time when you are happy with one another, might save a lot of time and trouble in the event that you get divorced.
  • Mediation: This refers to a friendly dialogue about a pressing issue. One of the best ways to solve the problem of pet custody is through mediation. By doing this, you can weigh the factors surrounding the situation. A good mediator will definitely be able to broker an agreement between the separated couple.
  • Arbitration: While arbitration is a non-court resolution, the verdict is usually binding. The upside to arbitration is that it is usually faster than a court proceeding.
  • Court Proceeding: A court proceeding is your last option if you are unable to find a resolution using any of the other means. Court proceedings are known to be slow and draining.


If you are looking for a quick and peaceful resolution, you can contact a lawyer that specializes in family law in Sydney.


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