If you’re like me, your pets are your whole world. But unfortunately, Colorado courts don’t view pets in the same way we do. For example, a pet is just personal property in Colorado. That means, what is the value for example of your old toaster oven? Well, that’s probably the value of your seven-year-old goldendoodle. So unfortunately, as much as you love them, and I love my pets, Colorado courts just see them as another piece of personal property. The exception to this rule is if you own, say, the National Westminster Dog Show Champion, and he’s siring puppies all over the country for hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. That’s a completely different situation, still likely a marital asset, but an income-producing one that is treated in a different category than, say, your beloved family pet.
Now, if you and your spouse or soon-to-be ex-spouse are arguing about who gets possession of the family pet, there are a number of ways the court looks at that. The court will consider, for example, personal stories regarding the pet. So, for example, if Sparkie is a service dog who was trained to assist one spouse after a tragic event or mental health diagnosis, then the court’s likely going to award Sparkie to that spouse. The best way to resolve the pet issue, in my opinion, particularly when there are children involved, is to just have your beloved Sparkie go with the children wherever they have parenting time. This is often best for the children, and it also gives parents a little break with Sparkie and without him or her. And then also, it’s best for Sparkie. Sparkie is always with the kids, and that can just be best for everyone involved.
When you’re going through a divorce, you often have a million questions going through your head. And certainly, that’s true if you’re contemplating divorce. So sometimes, oftentimes, an experienced family law attorney can make all the difference. So please give us a call here at The Drake Law Firm. We’re happy to answer any questions that you have regarding pet ownership in a divorce or anything. So call us today, and we’re looking forward to hearing from you.