Lawyers Have Gone to the Dogs: Pet-Nups Are a Rapidly Growing Trend

When you say yes to the ‘till death do us part’ bit, you probably don’t imagine that it can end in a dispute over your four-legged babies. However, pet custody disputes have become so common nowadays that in the UK a quarter of last year’s divorces had parties battling over their cats or dogs. To avoid unfortunate and stressful scenarios, pawrents are turning to the law to clarify who gets the pets in case of a breakup. The predetermined agreement for pet-owning couples has appropriately been dubbed the pet-nup.

You see, in the eyes of the law, pets are seen as property, rather than actual children. Of course, this doesn’t prevent people from seeing their pets as their babies, which makes problems for all parties involved when divorce is in question. A pet-nup promises assurances where there were none before- and lawyers are noting a growing rise in people who opt to have one drafted before tying the knot.

One of the main reasons for the growing popularity of pets in prenups is the predominantly millennial pet owner demographic. Millennials choose their homes and partners with their pets in mind, pick furbabies over human babies, and spend hefty sums on their four-legged companions each year. It stands to reason that they’d be the one to fully embrace the pet-nup!

While drafting one could be costly (a generic draft of a pet-nup is 11 pages long- try converting that into billable lawyer hours), the ownership of their pets is priceless to their pawrents. Some prefer to ask for sole custody if they had the pet before marriage or opt for joint custody if they want their pooch or kitty to stay with both of their pawrents. In the end, the most important part is to make sure that any arrangement or decision benefits the four-legged party involved. Pet-nup or no pet-nup!


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