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Michigan divorce law: Pets are property

You are getting ready to go through the divorce process and are concerned about what will happen to your pets. You've heard that other states are starting to allow couples to treat family animals more like children, permitting owners to create pet custody agreements. Michigan divorce law has not, however, changed its stance on this matter. Here, pets are still deemed property.

Sometimes, figuring out who gets to keep the family pet is pretty easy. If children are involved, family animals often follow them and stay with the custodial parent. If one spouse has a greater bond with the pet, it makes sense that the animal live with him or her. There are numerous factors to consider when deciding who gets to keep the pet. Couples are often able to figure out the matter through private negotiations or mediation.

If a couple cannot agree on who gets animal ownership in a divorce, the decision may go to a judge. The court will view the matter as a property division concern. Emotional attachment is not likely to matter. The pet will be placed with the person the court feels should have it, making the property division settlement equitable. To learn more about divorce and property division in the state of Michigan, please feel free to visit our firm's website.

It may seem wrong that a beloved family member be treated this way, but for the time being, it is what divorce law in the state of Michigan allows. Those who want to fight for their pet may do so with the assistance of legal counsel. In doing so, the animal may go to one party, or arrangements can be made for pet sharing. It all depends on what the couple wants and to what they are willing to agree.

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