Pets are part of the split of the couple’s liabilities and assets because the Wisconsin state statute still views them as property when a couple opts for divorce. There are no court-approved custody or visiting rights for the pet because it is deemed property and is, therefore, legally given to one spouse or the other. Getting help from a Madison divorce lawyer is advisable if you are facing trouble with your divorce.
Wisconsin is a 50/50 state:
In Wisconsin, which is regarded as a common property state, all marital assets are divided equally between the two parties in case of a divorce. As mentioned, this typically means that one spouse will receive the pet. The property gifted or inherited individually by each husband is not included in the 50/50 division. The pet might therefore be given to one partner over the other if it was a present to one of the couples or, for example if it was acquired from a parent.
In recent years, several states have changed attitudes on pets as property. Recently, Wisconsin passed legislation to join other states in allowing domestic pets to be included in domestic violence restraining orders. The incorporation of pets in the legislation mentioned above suggests a rise in the possibility that Wisconsin’s current definition of animals as the property may alter. Even while pets are still considered property under Wisconsin law, judges frequently “help” couples who could agree on whom the pet should live with by considering the following factors to establish who the “property” belongs.
- If the couple has kids who get along well with the animal and could be upset by the separation.
- Who purchased the pet?
- Whether the animal was purchased before the marriage
- Who was the animal’s primary caretaker?
Getting solutions in writing:
The simplest method to resolve pet ownership issues during a divorce is to forge an agreement between the spouses before the divorce begins. The pet’s future in the event of divorce can be outlined in a prenuptial agreement signed before the marriage or in a similar agreement after the pet is adopted into the family. In Wisconsin, spouses should decide together while keeping the pet’s and any children involved’s best interests at the forefront:
- where the animal will reside
- Which visiting privileges, if any, the ex-spouses may anticipate
- Who pays for the cost of the pet’s food, veterinary care, and other expenses?
It is advised to write pet-related agreements to prevent future disagreements.