Pet Custody

Austin Pet Custody Attorney

Navigating Pet Custody in Texas Divorces

For many, pets are beloved members of the family, but in Texas, unlike children, pets are considered within the realm of property division in a divorce. Understanding how pet custody is handled legally is crucial for those going through a separation. Newberry Law, PLLC, led by experienced family law attorney Joe Newberry, offers expert guidance in these unique cases.

Pets as Separate or Community Property

Austin pet custody lawyer

In Texas, a community property state, pets acquired before the marriage or gifted to one spouse during the marriage are considered ‘separate property.’ Conversely, pets obtained during the marriage or born to pets owned during the marriage are typically deemed ‘community property.’ This classification plays a significant role in determining who retains custody of the pet post-divorce.

Judicial Determination and Agreements on Pet Custody

When a pet is classified as community property, attorneys at Newberry Law, PLLC can assist in resolving pet custody through negotiation, mediation, or other forms of dispute resolution. If an agreement cannot be reached, a judge will decide which party is better suited for long-term pet care.

Factors a judge may consider include:

  • Which spouse has been the primary caretaker of the pet?
  • The work and personal schedules of each party.
  • The relationship between the pet and the children, if applicable.

In cases where children are closely bonded with the pet, the judge may award custody to the spouse with primary child custody. Additionally, when multiple pets are involved, the judge might divide custody based on each pet’s needs and each spouse’s lifestyle.

Fair and Equitable Division in Pet Custody

The court aims to ensure a fair and equitable division of the overall community estate, which includes pet custody. While Texas courts do not grant visitation rights for pets, judges are likely to enforce agreements explicitly outlining pet visitation schedules, such as those in prenuptial or postnuptial agreements.

Consult with an Austin Pet Custody Attorney

If you’re facing a separation and concerned about the custody of your pet, Newberry Law, PLLC is here to help. Our experienced attorneys understand the unique nature of pet custody within family law and are committed to assisting you in securing the best outcome for both you and your pet.

Contact Joe Newberry at Newberry Law, PLLC today to schedule a consultation and explore your options regarding pet custody in the context of your divorce.