Pet Ownership and a Colorado Divorce:
Who Gets the Family Pet?
If you’re anything like me, your four-legged companions hold a special place in your heart. However, it’s important to recognize that Colorado’s legal stance on pets differs from our emotional connections.
In this post, we’ll shed light on how the law perceives pets in divorce proceedings. While our pets may be cherished members of the family, Colorado courts classify them as personal property, prompting unique considerations in the midst of separation.
Pets as Personal Property
Colorado’s legal framework equates pets to personal property, akin to inanimate possessions like a toaster oven. What is the value of your old toaster oven? That is most likely the value the court will assign your pet. This perspective, though unsettling for pet lovers, guides how pets are treated during divorce proceedings.
Notably, if a pet possesses exceptional value due to income generation, such as a renowned show dog siring high-value offspring, it enters a distinct category as an income-producing marital asset.
Factors Influencing Pet Ownership Decision
If you and your spouse, or your soon-to-be ex-spouse, find yourselves in disagreement over who should have custody of the family pet, the court considers various factors in such situations:
- Personal Stories and Attachment: Courts consider personal narratives related to the pet. For instance, if a pet served as a crucial support animal for one spouse after a traumatic incident or during a mental health challenge, the court may lean towards awarding custody to that spouse.
- Consideration for Children: When children are involved, a compelling option is for the beloved pet to accompany them during parenting time. This approach not only offers solace to the children but also provides parents a respite while maintaining the pet’s consistent presence.
- Stability and Well-being: Prioritizing the pet’s well-being and stability is a shared goal. Ensuring that the pet remains with the children during parenting time can create a harmonious arrangement benefiting all parties involved.
The Role of an Experienced Family Law Attorney
Amid the multitude of questions that arise during divorce or contemplation thereof, the guidance of an experienced family law attorney can be transformative. At The Drake Law Firm, we understand the intricacies of pet ownership in divorce and can provide the insights needed to navigate this unique aspect of separation. Whether you’re seeking clarity on pet custody or require assistance with any divorce-related inquiries, our dedicated team is here to support you.
If you’re grappling with questions surrounding pet ownership in divorce or any other aspect of the dissolution process, don’t hesitate to reach out. Our compassionate and knowledgeable team is ready to provide the guidance you need to make informed decisions. Give us a call at The Drake Law Firm today – we look forward to being your trusted legal resource during this challenging time.