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The ultimate separation preparation
4th October 2019

By Karen Pickwick

Couples can save themselves the unnecessary heartache of losing shared pets by arranging a ‘pet-nuptial’ agreement in case of future separation with their partner.

For those going through a divorce, discussing what happens to shared pets after the split is undoubtedly one of the hardest things to do and having a plan in place can really help, JNP solicitors say.

“Pets are often just as important to people as children but when it comes to custody of fur babies, in the eyes of the law there is currently no official legally binding measures in place for what happens to pets after a break-up,” a JNP spokesman said.

“Legally a pet is a seen as an asset and, as with any assets in a divorce, ownership will be decided by the court, however having a prearranged agreement in place commonly known as a prenuptial agreement, can assist the court to make a decision.”

To decide the future home of a pet during a divorce, couples can include a clause in a wider prenuptial agreement regarding ownership of an animal in the same way they can for material goods such as furniture or a TV.

Pre-nups are seen as a reflection of the parties’ intentions regarding ownership of property and assets prior to marriage, and although they are not legally binding in the UK, they will be taken into consideration by the court in the event of a relationship breakdown.