Pets in Divorce in Florida
Pets are part of our family. Many of us treat them like our fury little children. They sleep with us, vacation with us, and comfort us through some of our roughest times. So when a family splits up or restructures itself, the pets lives get restructured too. Many times we are asked about "custody" arrangements for pets. Unfortunately, Florida law does not view pets as family members, it views them a property and treats them the same way you would treat a car for purposes of divorce. The unfortunate consequence of this is that, unless you are able to work out an agreement, the Judge is going to decide who gets Fido and it is going to be a decision based on what she believes is equitable or fair. Fairness is going to be assessed from a financial perspective since Fido is a piece of property under Florida law. The division of propoerty in Florida is called Equitable Distribution and pets are part of the propoerty which gets divided.
There are solutions though which involved negotiated agreement. Our office has crafted these agreements on many occasions. We can draft contracts which deal with pet custody, costs, and decision making. Once ratified by the Court these agreement are enforceable under contract principles.
If you are going through a separation our lawyers can you walk you through your options. Get in touch for a free consultation by calling us at 954.800.0841 or visiting our website at FamilyMattersLawGroup.com