Never mind who gets the kids, many separating couples fight over who gets to keep the much loved pets.

In England and Wales, the law treats pets as chattels and will be divided based on who bought or owns the pet. Much like a car or a painting.

However if you were married, you can ask the family courts to make a decision as to who keeps the pets during the divorce proceedings. The courts will consider who can best meet the needs of the pet. For example who has adequate kennel space or gardens, and who can afford to pay vets bills. The courts may also factor in who has devoted the most time to caring for the pet.

In order to avoid such disputes, stop horsing around, and contact a solicitor to draw up a pre-nuptial agreement in anticipation of marriage or a cohabitation agreement if you are an unmarried couple. These agreements should clearly state who will keep the pet in the event of separation.

If you would like advice on the above agreements, or on who should keep the family pet, please contact Stephanie on