Menu Contact
Law Offices of Lisa A. Ruggieri
Schedule A Consultation 781-489-3759

Pets: Property or people in Massachusetts?

Here's an interesting thought that you may not have considered having to face in your Massachusetts divorce: Your dog. Did you know that your dog will not be treated as a child or person but instead as a piece of property to be divided just like a home or vehicle? This article from June 20 discusses how to handle your pet in a family law court.

It's become more common for people to fight over their pets during a divorce; Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas, for instance, have three dogs that Griffith wants custody of. Because of the amount of money people spend on their pets, the idea that obtaining custody of a pet may be costly is no laughing matter. The law sees a pet as a "thing," so if you want to keep your pet, you might have to give up another asset to "pay" for the right to have your pet.

The way a judge deals with the custody of an animal could vary. Some judges may consider who took care of the pet more or who was interacting with the pet the most often. Others will treat a pet like an object; when that happens, whoever gets the pet will have to pay for it by giving up something in the divorce. There is no specific law regarding the custody of pets, but under the domestic violence code, if a restraining order has been issued, the person who asked for the restraining order can request to keep the pet, too.

So, how can you keep your pet's future secure? The article claims that the only real way to do so is with a prenuptial agreement. A postnuptial agreement can also be used; these documents can state who will keep the pets and in what circumstances.

Source: The Daily Beast, "Divorce Is Going to the Dogs, Literally" Keli Goff, Jun. 20, 2014

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Contact Our Law Firm

To make an appointment, call 781-489-3759 or send an email to schedule an initial consultation. We serve clients throughout the Boston area. Our firm can take your call 24 hours a day and meet with you during business hours, evenings and weekends. For your convenience, we accept Visa and MasterCard.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Location

27 Mica Lane, Suite 101
Wellesley, MA 02481

Phone: 781-489-3759
Phone: 781-239-8984
Fax: 781-239-8986
Wellesley Law Office Map

Law Offices of Lisa A. Ruggieri

Phone/Fax

781-489-3759 781-239-8986 - Fax