Dog in the case of divorce or separation: how to manage?

Divorce or separation is a major upheaval in the lives of the couple and their children. Then it is necessary to distribute all the common property between each of the parties, decisions that are sometimes difficult to make are made mandatory. But when the couple adopted a dog, another question arose. If the law considers it to be movable property that can only be left to one of the former spouses, such as furniture or a car, sometimes it is different. Indeed, the welfare of the dog is a point that must be considered. But then, how to handle the situation and the custody of the doggie if the couple divorces or separates? Let’s look at this case.

Divorce: when the judge decides for the custody of the dog

When a couple divorces, many assets must be divided and a complete reorganization must be put in place to deal with the new situation. When two ex-spouses have a dog, it is up to the judge to make his decision about custody of the doggie. In fact, the law considers the animal as movable property under the property regime, such as a table, sofa, bed, television or car. Therefore his custody must be given to one or the other of the former spouses, the alternating custody for the children cannot be placed in this case.

However, you should know that the judge’s decision will depend on the marriage regime chosen by the former spouses in their union.

When the couple is married under the community regime

In this case, the dog adopted by the couple for the duration of the marriage is common property, which requires a decision from the judge. However, if the adoption was made by one of the spouses before or during their union, the adopter can become the owner of the dog again after the divorce.

When the couple is married under the regime of separation of property

Also, if the dog was adopted before the marriage of one of the spouses, it remains their property after the divorce. The same applies if one of the spouses adopts the dog alone during the marriage. However, if it is offered as a gift during marriage, the spouse will accept it as a gift as its owner.

On the other hand, in the event of a joint adoption, the dog is considered common or indivisible property. The judge must then decide using his discretionary power, which means he alone decides whether to hand over the dog to one of the ex-spouses. To make his decision, the judge can rely on several criteria, namely:

  • the conditions under which each of the spouses can welcome the dog after the divorce;
  • the financial situation of each former spouse;
  • the care that everyone can bring the dog during the wedding;
  • the interest of children and the bonds that unite them with the dog;
  • the possible help needed by one of the ex-spouses.

If, however, the ex-spouses want to enforce a divorce by mutual consent, the decision about the custody of the dog can be left to a lawyer, in the absence of a judge.

Divorce, separation: when the custody of the dog is decided in a good way

Both future spouses may also decide to work together to find an amicable solution regarding dog custody. In this case, it is possible to turn to a dog expert who will play the role of mediator.

In any case, above all it is important to consider the well-being of the dog. The law has become more flexible in this area, especially because of the better consideration enjoyed by domestic animals, considered living beings“, but also consider the welfare of the family – especially the children – and to avoid the abandonment and/or abuse that is likely to occur in this type of situation.

Therefore, even if the final decision is taken by a judge, by a lawyer or by a mediator-conciliator, the interests of the dog and the children will come first. Because of this, the animal will be handed over to the ex-spouse with custody of the children if they have a strong relationship with the dog. On the other hand, if the animal is dangerous or dangerous for them, it cannot be done. In addition, the dog is usually entrusted to the person who is able to accommodate it in the best possible conditions, to give it the healthiest and most favorable environment possible as well as the care it can take.

Abroad, especially in North America, it should be noted that some judges grant visitation and residence rights to the ex-spouse without custody of the doggie to allow him to maintain a bond with the animal. . Alimony payments are even enforced in some cases.

The welfare of the dog, is a point to consider above all

whatever, the welfare of the dog should be the priority of divorced couples. It is hard to imagine children being deprived of their dog during this difficult time for them. Alternative custody can be a good solution in the same flow of children to satisfy everyone. All you have to do is move the animal at the same time as the latter and offer all its accessories twice to avoid disturbing it.

Of course, it is also necessary to consider the ability of each of the spouses to accommodate the animal in good conditions. If one of the former spouses never took care of the doggie during the marriage, if he could not provide him with a decent environment (living conditions adapted to his needs, quality food, adequate equipment, and etc.), it is better to entrust the custody to someone who can take care of it.

We must not forget that many separations and decisions that have been hasty or poorly made, despite the anger that each one can endure, have led to acts of mistreatment of the dogs concerned or to abandonment. However, our little partners are not responsible for the situation and they suffer from it like each of the ex-spouses, children or relatives of the ex-couple.

Above all, it is appropriate to think about the animal and its welfare. A dog acclimatizes very well to life with a master. And if he sees another from time to time, a few minutes on the occasion of the exchange, he will also be happy and he will celebrate it as if he had left him a few hours ago.

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