Who would get custody over your cats if your relationship ends?

Posted by Morris. March 24th 2014.

When a relationship breaks down, it isn’t just the CDs, books and clothing that need to be taken into account – you also need to think of who will take sole ownership of your beloved pet.

Whilst no one likes to think of what might happen if they fall out of love with their partner, more and more people are taking the time to get documents that include evidence of intent drawn up, to protect their assets in the event of a separation and this extends to Rex and Kitty.

So, if the worst should happen then who will get custody over your cats?

Pet pre-nups - a couple play with their cat
What are pet pre-nups?

‘Pre-nup’ is an abbreviation for ‘pre-nuptial agreement’ and refers to a legal contract which sets out the property and asset ownership rights of each partner in the event of a break up.

Although the pre-nup has been common in America and celebrity culture for years, many ordinary couples are taking similar steps to organise their assets before making a serious commitment to one another. The trend is also starting to become popular in the UK, with pre-nuptial agreements starting to be recognised in UK courts as evidence of intent rather than the complete legal contract they are seen as in America.

Whilst a regular pre-nup normally refers to financial assets, a pet pre-nup aims to protect everyone from the hassle and stress of leaving behind a beloved pet. By allowing a couple to arrange sharing rights in advance, pet pre-nups come in useful for sparing both parties from the emotional and financial heartache of a court case for custody of the pet.

Pet pre-nups are particularly useful for keeping a separation as calm and measured as possible. It can help to spare couples from hard decisions, court costs and spiralling legal fees and most importantly keep life stable and calm for a treasured pet.

What factors feature in a pet pre-nup?

As our cats can often feel like one of the family, it is important for both parties to take a clear and honest look at who is best able to provide for them best in the event of a separation. Your job, finances, available contact time and pre-existing bonds are all key factors in making a decision about who is best equipped to care for the animal.

Who would get custody of your pet?

Whilst it can be painful, one partner may have to make sacrifices for the good of your cat. For example, if a pet has been raised with children, efforts are usually made to let them continue living with little ones. Similarly, if several animals have been raised together or are part of a pair, it is preferred not to separate them. Therefore the chances are the pet would spend the majority of its time in one household.

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