Can I Get Custody of My Pet in Michigan?

Many people consider their pets to be part of the family. Consequently, in the past few decades, the issue of pet custody upon a divorce has become increasingly more common.

When it comes to distributing marital assets, or assets that the parties accumulate over the course of their marriage, the State of Michigan is an equitable distribution state. This means that the assets must be distributed as fairly and equitably as possible. Pets in Michigan are treated the same way as cars, boats, and other tangible assets, even though many people strongly disagree with this assessment.

The experienced legal team at the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins understand the pain and inconvenience associated with losing a pet during divorce proceedings. Our knowledgeable attorneys can take the necessary legal steps to help you pursue custody of a beloved pet following a divorce. In some instances, this may mean negotiating with the other side to try and work out an agreement. If an agreement with the other side cannot be worked out, our legal team is prepared to litigate the issue in court.

Factors to Consider

In some cases, divorcing spouses can come to an agreement about who should have custody of a family pet. When that happens, the arrangement could be reduced to writing and made a part of the court's final divorce decree. In instances where the parties cannot decide, the court will have to make the decision for them. When making that decision, courts will often look to some of the following factors:

  • Whether one spouse brought the pet into the marriage or whether the spouses made the decision about a pet after they were already married

  • Which spouse actually takes care of the pet or spends the most amount of time with the pet

  • The emotional connections of any of the spouses' minor children with their pet and how the children might be affected if the pet no longer resides in the same location at the children

  • Which spouse is most financially able to provide care for the pet, including food, medication, and veterinary care for the pet

Call a Michigan Divorce Attorney about Your Pet Custody Issue Today

Custody of a favorite pet following a divorce can be an emotionally sensitive issue - both for the spouses as well as for the spouses' minor children. However, pet custody arrangements typically work out far better when the parties are able to come to some sort of agreement on their own, as opposed to letting the court make the decision for them.

The experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins can help you work with the other side to formulate some sort of agreement. In the event an agreement cannot be reached, we could represent you in court during all stages of your divorce and custody proceedings.

To schedule a free case evaluation and legal consultation with an experienced Michigan divorce lawyer about the details of your situation, please contact us online today.