Heymann & Fletcher

Pet prenups becoming popular in the event of divorce

When people in New Jersey squabble during a divorce, the battle often has to do with their shared assets and property. However, one piece of property that particularly sparks conflict during divorce is the family pet. Even though the court system views pets as property, their owners naturally view them as other members of the family. It is for this reason that pet prenuptial agreements are becoming increasingly common.

A prenuptial agreement is a document that is signed by two parties before they get married and spells out how their assets will be handled in the event that they get divorced. Country music singers Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton recently got a divorce, but their divorce went relatively quickly because they had prenuptial agreements in place to protect their finances. Their pets were reportedly included in their prenuptial agreements.

Pet prenuptial agreements, or pet prenups, essentially explain which person will end up with the family pet following a divorce. Without a prenup, the parties must address the matter through litigation. This involves presenting evidence regarding which person paid for the pet, paid for its vet bills and mostly cared for the animal.

Even if two divorcing individuals in New Jersey never created a prenuptial agreement before marriage, they can still try to mediate their divorce in an effort to avoid litigation. This may work if both parties are willing to find common ground when making decisions about how their assets will be divided. Otherwise, they will have to allow a judge to make the final decisions for them regarding these issues.

Source: wcnc.com, "In a divorce, what happens to pets? Enter the puppy prenup", Anjanette Flowers, July 28, 2015

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