For many pet owners, their furry companions are family. In many cases, both spouses want to spend time with and care for their family’s dog or cat. 


A court views your pet as property, and they can only make the same sort of rulings for them as they would make for any other property. 


Thankfully, if you and your spouse can reach an agreement, you can create whatever kind of arrangement makes sense for you, your spouse, your pet, and any children in your family. 


If you are hoping to share the family pet, your best bet is to agree with your spouse, rather than letting a judge decide. 


A Custody-Like Arrangement

Pet parents can create a custody-like arrangement for their beloved animal companions. You might begin by considering the following questions.

  • With whom is this pet primarily bonded? You? Your spouse? A child or children in your family?
  • Will the pet live in one of the two households, or will they follow the same visitation schedule as your children?
  • Who will make choices about veterinary care?

A Custody-Like Arrangement

Source: / Photo Contributor: Studio Romantic

The Wellbeing of Your Pet

When answering these questions, it’s good to keep the wellbeing of your pet in mind. Most pets need time, attention, and resources. Ask yourself the following:

  • Do I have the time and energy to give this pet the care they need?
  • Can I afford the food, medical care, and grooming for this pet?
  • Will my new living situation provide them with enough space?
  • Can this pet safely and comfortably travel between residences?


Based on your answers, you should have a good idea of whether your custody-like arrangement sees your pet living in your home, your spouse’s home, or a combination of the two. 


We wish you the best of luck in creating an agreement that works for you, your family, and your pet. 

*This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice. If you require legal advice, please contact a licensed attorney in your local area.