Pet prenups, that propose which ½ of the couple will keep their pets (or, any future pets) are slowly becoming a popular way to limit potential divorce drama.
Prenups – contracts signed prior to marriage deciding who gets what in a divorce – used to only be the topic of celebrity gossip pieces. Though these days, more and more astute couples are making preparations just in case they split up, and enjoying more well-meaning breakups because of their pre-arranging.
Yet, it may strike you as bizarre to include dogs, cats, and other pets in these contracts.
Legal experts say frankly the number of couples electing who keeps ‘Max’ ahead of time is increasing.
“The dog or the cat or the family pet becomes like a child,” said attorney Eric Meredith. “With that, comes the emotional turmoil of when there is a divorce or separation of who takes the dog.”
Sensible, since many young couples are having “fur babies” (aka pets), before settling down and having offspring of their own. And just like with young kids, feuding over who gets to keep the pets following a divorce can push a separated couple even further apart.
A peculiarly nasty battle over three dogs from New York even made headlines nationwide in 2014, when the warring couple were actually permitted to argue for custody of their dogs in front of a judge before choosing to settle out of court.
New York is potentially the most progressive state as far as pet custody, letting judges weigh “what’s best for all,” the pets themselves included.
Soon, California will let couples contend for ownership of their dogs, and states like Illinois and Alaska are following suit.
Would YOU sign a prenup over your pet(s)?
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