Although pets can be listed as assets of the relationship (property), they generally get zero monetary value. In Downey`s decision against Beale His Honorary Judge Harman noted that Pet`s detention agreements are legal documents very similar to child custody contracts. As most pet owners will tell you, their pet companions are more than property. Since each household is different, these contracts should be developed to best reflect the specific interests of the parties and pets involved. The document often contains provisions for visits or shared custody. Owners should carefully consider the needs of pets, as well as their own. Some animals do better with structure and routine, so it may not be optimal to let them move too often. The distribution of the estate can be decided by the separating couple and, if they reach an agreement, the court is not obliged to intervene to decide who receives what. If a couple can agree to share custody or allow a pet to visit, they can make that part of their separation agreement. Under current legislation, pets must be distributed evenly during separation (as with all family interviews).
It`s easier said than done, because you can`t really share a pet and both parties want to keep it. A recent case, Sydney v Sydney  NZFC 2685, gave some indications on this subject and found that the welfare of domestic animals is the main consideration in determining who holds the animal. In this case, the family dog had been an “outdoor dog” who enjoyed a country lifestyle and when the dog`s owners separated, it was likely that one of them would move into town. Unsurprisingly, the court decided that it would be in the best interest of the dog to stay in the country. It may have been a more obvious case, but what happens in a situation where the same standard of living can be offered to the family pet? After the end of a relationship, the question of what happens to a pet becomes a matter of serious controversy. In most years, both parties to divorce or separation are closely related to their “fur baby” and consider it an integral part of their lives. All too often, couples who are smart enough to enter into a separation agreement, however, neglect the need to include the pets of their family members in their contracts. (And in these cases, Canadian courts have sometimes simply resorted to the inclusion of pets in the “general content” clause of a broader separation agreement.) The separation of pets from children or their owners can also cause a lot of stress and another element of tension between the parties. It is important to know how pets are treated during separation. As I wrote recently on a blog post, Canadian divorce courts routinely treat family animals as a “property” and not as the subject of child custody decisions: if everything else fails and a couple fails to informally agree on who will receive the beloved pets in divorce, a court will treat them like any other marital property that needs to be shared. , and will do so on the basis of evidence and evidence of various factors that determine which spouse is most entitled to their right.
The Law Society recently identified pets as a matter that the Law Commission must take into account in its revision of the Law of Ownership 1967 (Law), but until the law is amended, pets must be taken into account in the current relational context. This means that your beloved dog or cat has the same status as your Macbook or Sodastream. As with most divorce issues, it is best that you and your spouse pay custody of your pets between them and document your decisions in your separation contract. If the problem arises in litigation, the judge can focus on existing legislation and not on what is best for pets. The preuv