Pet-nup: Including Pets in Pre-nuptial Agreements

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Do you have a pet? Are you getting married? If you answered yes, it’s time to consider a pet-nup, which is the pet clause within a prenup. 

In the event of a breakup, it’s always good to have something in place to minimize conflicts in the courtroom and added strife over an already painful experience. 

So if you have a dog and you’re getting married, lawyers recommend deciding on who keeps the dog before you get married so that if you happen to get divorced later on, Fido is taken care of. 

There are a few benefits of having a petnup, so keep reading to learn about three of the biggest reasons to hop on the petnup trend. One in twenty couples with a dog has one in place!

Establish Pet Joint Custody

If you have a dog, you know that they are part of the family and that you’d never want to lose your furry four-legged child. 

A petnup will allow you and your partner to make decisions in the absence of contention. In other words, you will draft and sign the petnup while your relationship is going well, which usually allows for the agreeable plan of joint custody for your pet in the case that your marriage doesn’t work out. 

If things between you change over time, the petnup still stands with the terms and conditions originally agreed upon. Therefore, regardless of how contentious your relationship becomes, your fur child will remain in the loving care of both fur parents. 

Keep Your Pet Happiest

If your pet has a closer relationship with one of the people in the relationship, it might be in the best interest of the pet to stay with that person forever. Write it into the petnup! 

If you are the one who takes the dog, for example, out for walks, feeds it, brings it to the vet, and so on, you should probably remain the primary caretaker so your pet stays happiest regardless of the relationship between you and your partner. 

If you can’t decide who should have custody on your own, consider consulting a professional who will be able to provide advice and write up the petnup.

Custody for the Kids

If you have children, they probably have formed a special relationship with their furry sibling over time. Therefore, it is often in the best interest of the children to keep them with their four-legged brother or sister. 

You can account for this in a petnup when you decide who keeps the dog in the event you and your partner break up. Most parents want to spare their kids as much grief as possible when it comes to divorce, so consider a petnup that states that the dog stays with your children. If the kids spend one month at one parent’s home and the next month at the other’s, the dog goes too.

The Best of the Petnup

Petnups are a great way to make appropriate decisions on behalf of your beloved pets while you and your partner are happy and in agreement with each other. It is best to have one in place just in case things go sour. After all, you wouldn’t want your partner to ever use your fur baby against you. 

If you have a pet and are getting married, contact us so we can discuss whether a petnup is right for you and what should be included in it if it is.