What happens to pets during a separation?

Together we are Forbes


23 September, 2021

Rubina Vohra

The Covid 19 pandemic has led to an increase in homeworking. For this reason, many families have taken to expanding their families with pets as they've been more readily available to spend time with them and look after them. This has often been a conscious decision to also help with stress and well-being.

Sadly, the pandemic has also placed significant pressure on families, leading to an increase in relationship problems. It is usual for couples to consider how to separate their assets, capital and pensions and there is legislation available to assist with arrangements on behalf of the children. However, deciding who keeps the family pet and how much time the family pet will spend with each party is an issue that couples often seek guidance upon. Pets are often seen as a member of the family and it can be heart-breaking when such decisions need to be made, when both parties are equally attached to the pet.

Unfortunately, the court's jurisdiction does not stretch so far as being able to make agreements about pets and it is solely a matter for the parties to decide between themselves. If couples seek assistance, although court jurisdiction is not available, non-dispute resolutions such as mediation or arbitration can be considered.

Whilst there are no pet agreements that can be drawn up, if a couple are going through a divorce or separation, then provisions can be made in either the consent order or in the separation agreement. However, this solely remains an agreement and will not binding.

For more information contact Rubina Vohra in our Family/Divorce department via email or phone on 01254 580 000. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.

Learn more about our Family/Divorce department here

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