If you and your partner had a pet or pets together, you may wonder who will get them when you separate. Unlike children, courts do not have jurisdiction to make orders in relation to ‘custody’ of pets.
Under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth), pets are treated as ‘personal property’ rather than a family member, and form part of the asset pool to be divided between the parties. Most pets have no monetary value; the only exception to this is when a dollar value is allocated to an animal of pedigree.
When deciding who should keep the family pet, the Court my take into account the following factors:
- Who is the registered owner?
- Who has passion/care of the pet?
- Who has suitable accommodate for the pet?
- Who can continue to maintain the pet?
In some cases, a Judge may make orders for a family pet to travel between separated parents along with the child/ren of the relationship.
To find out more about what to do if you have separated from your partner or spouse, make an appointment with Linna at Hume Taylor & Co today.