Disputes over pet ownership are increasingly common following a break-up and can be very costly for all involved. As a result, all couples, regardless of marital status, should consider entering into a contract that provides for pet ownership and pet custody should the relationship later end.
Couples who do not have a contract describing pet ownership and custody following a break-up may suffer a series of negative consequences. These consequences may include, but are not limited to:
- Temporary separation from your pet
- Permanent separation from your pet
- Loss of time with your pet
- Attorney fees
Negative consequences may result because the parties cannot amicably decide who will retain custody of a pet and when; the parties cannot decide ownership of the pet; one party wrongfully withholds the pet from the other; and the court is forced to get involved to resolve the above disputes.
Thus, while sharing a pet with your significant other may seem like a safe decision during your relationship, this decision may have costly consequences down the road. It is therefore wise to enter into an agreement that describes exactly what will happen with respect to your pet, should your relationship later end.