If you have a dog, there is a good chance you see the animal as a member of your family. This is probably particularly true if you and your spouse do not have children. According to reporting from The Conversation, losing your dog may cause you to experience deep grief. Your husband or wife is likely in the same boat.
Even if ending your marriage is right for you and your spouse, you can expect to have some disagreements about divorce-related matters. When it comes to your dog, these disagreements have the potential to become bitter.
When planning for your divorce, it is advisable to inventory and value everything you and your spouse own. In Minnesota, divorcing spouses usually receive an equitable share of their marital estates. This means you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse should end up with a fair share of marital property.
Your furry friend
Even though your dog is a living creature, the animal is property. Whether your pooch is marital or separate property, though, probably depends on when you acquired it. If you owned the dog before you walked down the aisle, your pup may belong exclusively to you. Otherwise, your dog is presumably marital property.
Your settlement negotiations
Because you simply cannot cut your dog into two equitable shares, either you or your spouse must take ownership after your divorce. If you want to keep the animal, you may need to give up other assets in exchange for it. Alternatively, it may be possible to come up with a time-sharing agreement for your pup.
Ultimately, who gets the dog during your divorce may hinge on whether you and your husband or wife are able to remain on good terms after your marriage ends.