My ex-husband and I have a dog both of us want to keep. How can I keep the dog?

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Question:

My ex-husband had a dog when we married that died about a year after our marriage.  We got a puppy to replace that dog.  I spent a lot of time caring for and training the dog, but we are both attached to the dog.  We both want to keep the dog, how can I keep the dog?

Answer:

Pets quickly become members of the family and if you have no children, they often feel like your family.  Unfortunately, the family court and the law sees pets as property and the court will award them as property.  You could try making an argument that the dog should be given to you, if you are the one with the major responsibility of caring for the dog, taking him to the vet, and training.  If you have, children that are especially attached to the dog that would be another reason for having the court award the dog to you.  Your best option in this situation is to figure out a compromise with your ex-husband regarding the dog.   Couples have worked out shared custody and visitation agreements with pets. Consult with local counsel in your area experienced in family law.  He or she would be best equipped to advise you about property division in divorce.

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