Who keeps the family pet in Texas Divorce?  In Texas we love our pets.  They are part of our families.  They love us regardless of our imperfections.  In stressful or disturbing times, there are few things as relaxing as petting our family fur babies.

Our lives change when we go through a divorce.  Texas has child custody laws which help to determine custody and visitation of your children.  So how are our pets handled in a Texas divorce?

Who Keeps the Family Pet?

Regardless of how we feel about our pets, in Texas animals are considered to be property.  There are two types of property in a Texas divorce community property and separate property.  So, who keeps the family pet?

Your separate property belongs just to you.  Community property belongs to both partners in a marriage. 

If you adopted your pet prior to your marriage or received him/her as a gift from your spouse, it will likely be your separate property.  If not, your pet will be considered community property.

Community property is negotiated by your divorce attorney.  You can offer certain property to your spouse in exchange for other property.  Your pet can be obtained through this process.

If the issue goes to trial, the judge or jury will who should keep the family pet.  You do not get to determine the outcome.  The court will look at the best interest of your children, the animal, and finally the parents.

Alternative On Who Keeps The Family Pet

A Texas court may not determine joint ownership of a pet.  It belongs to one party or the other.  However, it is possible that the two you enter into a contractual agreement regarding the care of your pet.  This requires cooperation between you and your soon to be ex-spouse.  But it does give you control over who keeps the family pet.


There are a lot of factors to consider when going through a divorce.  Who keeps the family pet is just one of them.  Make sure that you have a professional protecting your rights when you go through your divorce.

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