Who Gets the Pets In A Florida Divorce?
In a divorce, deciding who gets to keep the family pet can be just as contentious as deciding who gets custody of the children. Pets are members of the family, and both spouses may have a strong emotional attachment to them. So, in a divorce, who gets to keep the family pet? The following are the factors that will be taken into consideration when making a decision.
Marital and Non-Marital Assets in Florida
In the state of Florida, there is a clear distinction between marital and pre-marital assets. Marital assets are any assets that were acquired during the marriage, while pre-marital assets are those that were acquired before the marriage. Pre-marital assets can also include gifts or inheritances that were given to one spouse during the marriage. When it comes to deciding who gets the pet(s) during a Florida divorce, the court will first look at whether the animal is considered marital property.
Most of the time, each spouse gets an equal share of the marital property, unless there was a prenuptial agreement that said otherwise. However, since a pet cannot be divided, and both parties may disagree with selling it, pets that are considered marital property will be divided according to the equitable distribution rule in Florida.
The Equitable Distribution Rule in Florida
Apart from considering what is marital property and what is not in Florida, when a couple divorces, the court will also follow the rule of equitable distribution when dividing up the couple’s assets. Being equitable means being fair, and in many cases, splitting up marital assets in a 50/50 ratio might not be considered fair.
When it comes to pets, the court will typically look at who bought the pet and why they did so. Who has been taking care of the pet and who has been providing for its needs will also be taken into consideration. The court may also consider which party is more likely to provide a loving home for the pet. Finally, the court may also look at how attached each party is to the pet before awarding it equitably to either party.