About a year after you and your spouse got married, you decided to buy a cat. You’d always wanted to have a pet, and it was nice to have another companion in the home.
Unfortunately, in the years to come, your marriage ended. The two of you decided that it just wasn’t working anymore and that you were going to get a divorce.
What you’re interested in is getting custody of the cat. It may be the first pet you’ve ever owned. You have a close connection, almost as if this is another family member. Perhaps both you and your spouse are interested in getting custody, if possible. Can you do this during a divorce?
Pets are governed by property division
The important thing to remember here is that your cat is technically an asset that you own. You and your spouse bought the cat together, just the same way that you may have purchased furniture for your house, a new television or a family car.
As such, the court isn’t going to set up a custody arrangement in the same way they would for children. The court is not going to give you a schedule where you exchange your pet every other week or something of that nature. All the court will do is look at this from a property division standpoint. Is there another asset that has a similar value, when looking at what you paid for your cat initially? If so, one of you may get that asset, while the other person gets to keep the cat.
Of course, you may argue that the sentimental value means your cat is worth more, but the court only looks at it as a piece of property. As such, it’s very important to know about all the steps you can take at this time.