Wisselman, Harounian & Associates, P.C. Articles Who Gets the Pets in a New York Divorce?

Who Gets the Pets in a New York Divorce?

By Wisselman, Harounian & Associates  Oct. 22, 2012 10:40a

When it comes to divorce, most couples will be faced with tough decisions regarding marital property division, child custody, and other important issues. The process of dividing up one's finances, assets, and more can extend to the matter of who will get to keep the family pet. Family pets are considered marital property and so fall under the legal concept of "equitable distribution." This means that the family dog, cat, cockatoo, or other pet will be valued as such and the matter will have to result in a fair monetary distribution where any real value exists. Many pets have no value other than an emotional one. Some pets, however, such as costly purebreds may have a high monetary value. In such cases, whoever gets to keep the pet will have to pay the other spouse half of the pet's assessed value.

When couples cannot agree on this issue, it is left up the courts to decide. The court will have to look at various considerations, including whether the pet belonged to one of the partners before the marriage, whether one of the partners received the pet as a gift, who can provide the best care for the pet, and / or who has mainly cared for the pet throughout the marriage. The court may find this a difficult issue to decide and, if it is forced to do so, the decision it renders will be final. That is why it is best to come to an agreement outside the courtroom in order to maintain control over the decision-making process. Such an agreement could include a time-sharing plan similar to a parenting plan for those with children.

Divorce Representation from a Long Island Family Law Firm

If you are facing a prospective divorce, you may be overwhelmed by the emotional, legal, and financial challenges of such a process. Getting knowledgeable and sound legal advice from an attorney who concentrates in this field can ease the process, giving you the understanding and support you need. The Long Island family law firm of Wisselman, Harounian & Associates has handled tens of thousands of divorces for people throughout the greater metro New York area and has more than 150 years of combined experience in this area.

Learn your legal rights concerning your divorce; let an experienced attorney at the firm guide you through the divorce process and help you make informed decisions about all the various issues stemming from it. The firm, which is distinguished by "Super Lawyers," offers a free consultation for those who facing a potential divorce. Contact their offices to arrange for a case evaluation and find out how this prestigious group of attorneys can assist you.

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