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Who gets the family dog in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Sep 27, 2019 | Divorce & Family Law

Your divorce takes a toll on every aspect of your life. It can affect your personal, financial and your family life. Virginia divorces are among the most stressful life events that a person can face. Among splitting finances, assets and even discussions of child custody, there is one consideration that most families find themselves at odds about. The family dog.

According to Huffington Post, under Virginia law, and most states, dogs are property. While this might be how the law views it, most families do not look at dogs as property. They are not sellable items as much as they are part of the family. Both spouses have a bond with the dog and many will contest dog custody. The best possible option for a couple is to agree on custody before the divorce goes to court.

If there is no agreement, then it is up to the judge to decide who the dog belongs to. Some courts will even order a schedule between the couple. Judges often have to use creativity to determine dog custody. One judge ordered a couple to stand in a park and find out who the dog ran to. Other judges considered forcing a couple to sell the dog until they came up with an arrangement of their own. Judges consider a multitude of factors. They understand the bond between dogs and humans. If you have custody of a child who bonds with the dog, the judge may also factor this into the custody case.

This article is only meant to inform on dog custody. It is not intended as legal advice.