You're splitting up so who keeps the pet? Couples create 'pet-nups'
NEW YORK - If you get a pet with your significant other, what happens if you go through a break-up or a divorce? Well, to avoid the situation from getting hairy, some couples are creating agreements called 'pet-nups.'
According to Sue Moss of Chemtob Moss Forman & Beyda, pet nuptials or pet-prenups are becoming more common and are essentially a written agreement concerning who in the family gets to keep the pet in the event of a separation.
"We've had these cases for a very long time," says Moss. "At first, we treated them like children, but now we really just teach that, treat them as property. Any time a family has a dog, it's an issue. And it's sometimes the most contentious if you take the kids, but I want the dog."
Moss says pets should follow the children -- adding it's actually trickier for those who don't have kids.
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"You don't want to be connected to that spouse for the next 13 years. So what we often do then is we'll have a custodial relationship for three years and then we'll figure out who will at the end of the day will take the pet."
Relationship expert Lori Zaslow agrees, adding many young couples are opting for just a fur-baby.
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"If you have half custody of the kids then you should have half custody of the animals," says Zaslow. "So many millennials aren’t having kids and they’re just having animals — those things need to be established before getting married like anything else...I mean an animal has a heartbeat."
Both agree in a city like New York, it can be just another expense to fight over like who is going to pay the dog walker? So it's better to have the conversation ahead of time to avoid a catastrophe.