Family Law negotiations can be difficult, painful and protracted – particularly where children and pets are involved. Pets are part of the family, and owners want to ensure pets are loved and looked after following a relationship breakdown.
In the UK, around 1/4 of divorces in the past year (approximately 30,000 matters) involved a pet custody dispute.
Pet-owners, eager to avoid potential future disputes, are now increasingly taking out “Pet-Nups”.
Pet-Nups are a variation on prenuptial agreements, known in Australia as Binding Financial Agreements.
Binding Financial Agreements are administered under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth). These agreements allow couples, at the start, middle or end of their relationship, to decide how their asset pools will be divided if their relationship were to break down.
Although we might not consider our pets to be property, animals are regarded as property under the Family Law Act. As such, Binding Financial Agreements can include arrangements for the custody of pets and stipulate who will bear the financial burden of maintaining the pet if the relationship ends.
For an interesting read about the rise of Pet-Nups and pet custody disputes, see this article in the New York Post.
If you wish to discuss a pet custody issue, Binding Financial Agreement or any other Family Law matter, then call Martin Bullock Lawyers on 02 9687 9322.