Pets are classified as animals that, unlike livestock, cost more money to maintain than they bring in. Pets share in recreational activities with their owners, as well as provide companionship. Even though animals can fulfill both a livestock and pet role for their owners, the emotional attachment that develops between owners and pets is what sets pets apart in the marital estate division. Your family lawyer knows that this often causes significant problems; therefore, when discussing the disposition of animals, one must take care.
Since it is extremely unlikely that pets will be sold because of the divorce, the pet must be assigned a value for the purpose of dividing the marital estate.
The worth of dogs with breeding potential or marketable skills (such as hunting or tracking) can be determined by the same methods used to value any other asset. Both husband and wife can agree on a value, Internet or trade magazines can be utilized, or an independent appraiser may be hired.
In reality, the dollar value of most pets is zero. In fact, most pets have a negative value that varies in proportion to the attachment the owner has developed toward the pet. Owners who feel more attachment to their pets will spend more money in order to enhance and prolong their pet’s life.
Your divorce lawyer is also aware that the relationship between pets and the children of the marriage comes into consideration. Pets can ease the transitions that children must deal with when living in two different households. If allowed to accompany the children from household to household, pets can give children a sense of constancy and stability.
Are you currently contemplating a divorce or going through one? If you would like to discuss your situation with an experienced and knowledgeable family lawyer, please contact Zonder Family Law by calling 818-309-7059.