When a North Carolina couple decides that it is time to start divorce proceedings, dividing up all of the assets that wereobtained during the marriage can be difficult. However, what many people do not know is that family pets are considered to be personal property. While some couples create their own custody arrangements for their beloved pets, others use the pets as a bargaining chip.
For many people, pets are cherished family members. One spouse may use the pet to obtain other marital property that may amount than more to what they should have received. Others may use the pet to control their former spouse by promising to give them the pet if they do certain things for them. Still others may use a pet custody agreement to continue to have contact with the former spouse.
There are several ways that people can strengthen their claim to a pet. If they purchased the pet prior to the marriage or they can show evidence that they were its primary caregiver, they may be more likely to end up with the pet. If both spouses can agree and get along, however, there are cases where pet custody agreements benefit both former spouses and the pet.
Often, the pet may end up going where the kids go, especially if the children have a strong attachment to the animal. This can be very difficult for the non-custodial parent. Very few courts to date have ruled on pet custody, so attorneys for the respective parties can attempt to negotiate an agreement that a judge will approve as part of the order.