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Where should the family pet go after a divorce?

September 9, 2020 | Firm News

You and your spouse have a dog together. You adopted it a few years ago, and it has grown with your family. Today, you both feel a connection to your pet, so you both want to keep it after your divorce.

This is a complex situation that many couples have trouble with. As you try to decide where to house your pet, remember that Colorado law only allows for one person to have the dog; a dog is treated the same as personal property.

Can you agree to share your pet after a divorce?

If you and your spouse are going to be on good terms with one another, then it’s possible to share custody of your pet. This will need to be something you arrange and set before a judge for approval. To the state, your dog is just property. Sharing one isn’t typical. 

Before you decide to share custody of your pet, you should also think about factors such as who can be there more often for your pet, who has the money to cover the pet’s expenses and where the pet would be most comfortable. If neither of you can provide a suitable home, it may be a good time to look into rehoming your pet with a friend or family member. If only one of you has a dog-friendly household, then that person may be the one who should have custody.

Whether you share custody of your pet or not will depend on your specific situation and if you and your spouse can agree to share. If you want to move on without your ex-spouse in your life in the future, then sharing your pet may not be the best idea.

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