Taking the lead: dogs in divorce

A national newspaper has reported that couples are increasingly seeking legal advice as who can keep the dog following a separation. Whilst it is usual to see couples discussing arrangements for children upon separation, it appears that our precious pooches are also becoming a matter of contention.

During the relationship, a pet becomes part of the family and many couples are reluctant to say goodbye to them once the relationship breaks down. A survey conducted by Onepoll for Co-Operative Pet Insurance in 2011, revealed that one fifth of couples who were separating, fought over who can keep the dog.

The current law treats dogs as personal property and if a dispute arises, an application to the small claims court can be issued to determine who the dog will remain living with. Although, the court cannot grant a party the right to visit their pet.

For married couples, the matter can be raised during financial proceedings on divorce. It is far better to deal with the matter amicably through private agreement or alternatively through solicitor-led negotiations if an agreement cannot be reached to avoid costly court proceedings.

If any of the above resonates with you, at Paul Robinson we are always willing to help on all aspects of family matters so please do not hesitate to contact us on 01702 338338 or info@paulrobinson.co.uk.