Who Gets the Family Pet in a Florida Divorce?

Portrait of happy girl and her mother holding pet and looking at camera with smiles

In case of a divorce in Florida, family pets are considered personal property under Florida’s divorce laws and subject to equitable distribution.

Because your pets are viewed as property, your pet will end up being “owned” by one party or the other party. Unfortunately, no one gets “custody” of the family dog or any other pet and there’s no ‘time sharing” or visitation as is the case with children of divorced parents. This could be a very emotional issue, especially when children are emotionally attached to the pet.

If you owned your pet prior to getting married, you will need to produce proof such as a sale receipt, vet bills, etc., that are dated prior to marriage date. If your pet was a gift or rescued from the streets, ownership might be difficult to prove. The court may order valuable pets such as purebred animals to be sold and proceeds divided when spouses can’t agree as to ownership.

An experienced attorney like D’Lugo and DeFlora, P.A. can assist you in negotiating or litigating the ownership of your pet as part of the proceedings. Call us for a consultation today at 407.870.5551 or find us online at www.kissimmeefamilylaw.com.


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