Pets as Property: A Change of Viewpoint in the Courts

Historically, the courts have treated pets as chattel or property. While families have an obvious emotional connection to their pets, the law views them as personal property, similar to a piece of furniture. As a result, many courts will distribute the property (pet) to one party or another. In extreme cases when an agreement cannot be reached, the court will direct that the pet be sold and the money divided between parties. The Future of Pets in Divorce Recent cases indicate that the treatment of pets in divorce cases is shifting, and the courts have started to look at the issue differently. In a relatively recent case, a Manhattan judge determined that the family dog [...]