Minnesota Law: Who Gets The Pets If A Couple Breaks Up?
Most pet owners would say their animal is a member of their family some even view/treat their dog or cat the same way they would a child. Pet owners spend a ton of money pampering their four-legged friends, they seek out restaurants with dog-friendly patios, and even take them along on family vacations.
So, what happens to the fur-baby when a couple decides to get divorced? With kids, there’s a custody battle, but with pets, it can be a little different. The law firm of Gilbert Alden and Barbosa from Burnsville and Edina provides the answer below.
Minnesota law classifies pets as property and there are two types of property to consider when divorcing and determining who gets what.
When Is a Pet Considered Non-Marital-Property?
Did you own the pet before getting married? Did the pet live alone with you first? Do you have a separate bank account and did you use your money to purchase the pet?
The law firm says those are the easiest ways to determine non-marital property – although the third option listed above can be tricky to prove. If the animal is classified as non-marital property it stays with the person who owned/bought it before the relationship.
When Is A Pet Considered Marital Property?
Did you buy the pet as a couple? Did you live with your partner before getting the pet?
Deciding who gets the pet gets a little more complicated when the pet is determined to be marital property. The courts may have to get involved if the couple can't reach an agreement.
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