Couples advised to draw up ‘pet-nups’

pet nupsCouples are being advised make plans for their pets in case they divorce.

One-in-four divorces involve a dispute over pets

Family law experts are advising couples to put together a plan in case the worst should happen.

Whether a cat, dog or a rabbit, couples preparing to get married or set up home together are being urged to draw up a pre-nup for their animals.

Whilst it may not be the most romantic of conversations, family law experts believe that having a ‘pet-nup’ for sharing ‘custody’ of the pet and other details, such as cost of veterinary treatment, will provide peace of mind for both partners.

“Solicitors are usually the first port of call for people who are divorcing so perhaps we are a little on the cynical side- but we see the problems caused when relationships break down – and it’s usually costly, stressful and emotionally draining for both parties.

Pets are part of the family so it makes sense to think about their welfare.

Many pets are taken to re-homing centres following a relationship breakdown. Cats and dogs are the most fought over pets, followed by rabbits, guinea pigs and horses.

Alyson Jones, re-homing development manager at Blue Cross, said:  “At our re-homing centres we deal with some very upsetting situations when pets are brought to us following relationship splits. It really is devastating for everyone involved – including the pet. One partner will sometimes bring a pet to us for re-homing without the other’s knowledge.

“Our pets are not just material goods; they are often at the heart of our home lives, so it is a good idea to agree on your pet’s future in advance to make a difficult situation easier. It makes sense to agree up front who will keep your pet so that they don’t get dragged through the courts or end up in our re-homing centres.”


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