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Colorado trial attorneys

After a divorce, who gets the dog?

On behalf of Dolan + Zimmerman LLP September 2, 2020

When you’re going through a difficult divorce, there are many details to sort out. You may need to figure out who is moving out, how to tell your family and how to divide certain assets. This also includes one specifically loveable asset – your dog.

Americans love their furry family members. We often treat them as our children, and the thought of losing them is very painful. In fact, research has shown that in 38% of divorce cases, neither party wants to give up the dog.

While some couples can decide who will get the dog on their own, others ultimately bring it to court. These cases often stem from young, childless couples.

In Colorado, courts treat pets as property. This means that the best solution is reach an agreement regarding the dog outside of court.  In a settlement agreement, parties can make agreements regarding their pets that the court would not entertain during a hearing.

When thinking about the best plan for your pets, it is important to consider:

  • Who the pet is most bonded to
  • Who can afford pet care
  • Who the primary caretaker is
  • Who can provide a better environment
  • Where the children are the majority of the time

In some cases, parties agree to a visitation schedule.

Although most courts still consider pets property, parties are free to make agreements in the best interest of their furry companions.