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What happens to pets in Oklahoma divorces?

On Behalf of | May 21, 2024 | Family Law |

If you’re facing the difficult transition of divorce or separation, you can be worried about the many details you must address. Determining the fate of your shared pet can be one topic that you find especially difficult to address. However, there are ways to make pet-related decisions a little easier.

The legal landscape

In Oklahoma, pets are legally property, which can seem insensitive to the bond you share with your animal companion. Unlike children, the law does not provide protections or guidelines for things like custody and visitation.

As such, it can be vital for you to proactively address the future of your pets outside of the courtroom. Doing so gives you more control over the outcome and ensures your pet receives the treatment and consideration they deserve.

Strategies for deciding a pet’s future

When deciding who will take care of your pet post-divorce, it’s essential to discuss and agree upon an arrangement that fulfills your pet’s needs and best interests. Depending on your circumstances, you might choose to:

  • Share custody with a defined schedule
  • Have the pet stay with one person
  • Keep a pet with children in their primary residence

You can work together, with your attorneys or with a mediator, to tailor a solution that reflects your pet’s needs and your personal circumstances.

Factors to consider

When determining the best arrangement for pet custody, you can take several factors into account.

  • Who has been the primary caretaker?
  • Did one person acquire the pet before marriage?
  • Who has the financial resources to provide for the pet?
  • Who has the most suitable living arrangement for the pet?

Evaluating these factors can guide you toward an agreement that serves the best interest of your pet and allows for a smoother transition for everyone involved.

Pets are more than just property; they are beloved members of our families. Amid the stress of divorce, it’s crucial to remember that your pet’s well-being is at stake. By considering the legal landscape, discussing mutually beneficial custody arrangements, and weighing key factors, you can protect your pet even as your family structure changes.