Should pets be listed as property in a marriage dissolution agreement?

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Should pets be listed as property in a marriage dissolution agreement?

In filling out a separation agreement, should pets be listed as property in
accordance to the agreement on which party will keep them? This is in the state
of Ohio.

Asked on May 2, 2018 under Family Law, Ohio

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

In the vast majority of states, pets are treated the same as other "property"; how ever other property is be divided will apply to your pet. That having been said, the law on this issue is evolving. In IL for example, pets are no longer treated a property but rather as the family members that they are. Consequently, the judge as great discretion in deciding who takes custody. Accordingly, you should consult directly with a local divorce attorney as to your rights in this matter under specific state law.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Legally, they *are* property, and at the same time, they can cause conflict (e.g. over who gets them). To avoid conflict later, they should listed on the agreement and who gets them (and if the other side gets visitation, or if custody is shared) should be set out.


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