Are Pets Treated Like Children or Property in a Utah Divorce?

When a couple decides to divorce, they must determine who will get custody of the children and how assets are divided. But what happens to the family pet?

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Many families treat dogs, cats, and other animals just like another child. In fact, states such as Alaska and Illinois have made legal joint custody of a pet an option.

However, Utah and most states traditionally view pets as property and subject to property division. Rather than consider the best interests of the pet, the court will look at several other factors such as which party takes cares of the pet more, covers the costs of caregiving, has the strongest bond with the pet, has space for the new pet after divorce, or has full custody of the children to determine who keeps the family pet.

Although a judge won’t determine pet custody, divorcing couples in Utah can create their own visitation schedule and submit their agreement to the court. This only works best when both parties can come to an agreement about providing the best possible care for their pet after divorce.

If you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse are interested in creating a pet custody plan but have yet to come to such an agreement, Lokken & Putnam, P.C. can help you find the most effective legal solutions to secure the best living situation for your pet. We can review your case, advise you on your rights and legal options, and reach the most favorable arrangement.

For more information about divorce in Salt Lake City, contact us today at (801) 829-9783 and schedule a consultation.