In today’s day and age, dogs are more than just property – they’re family. But Michigan law disagrees. Under Michigan law, animals are still considered personal property (such as furniture, golf clubs, or hunting gear) that should be equitably distributed based on the circumstances of the case. Unfortunately, “equitable” does not always mean “equal." Rather, the Court tries to divide property in a way that seems “roughly congruent” or fair.
What Does This Mean for Me?
A judge will never order a visitation schedule with your dog, the same way he or she would never order a visitation schedule with your couch. It just isn’t done. However, parties can get around this by reaching an agreement on their own, without taking the issue in front of a judge. In other words, “who gets the dog” is really up to you and your partner to ultimately work out. Some factors to consider are the value of the dog (e.g., show dogs, hunting dogs, purebreds), the emotional attachment of the parties (including the children), where the kids are going to live, and perhaps even the preferences of the dog itself. But, again, this is something that you and your partner must agree upon.
We Are Here to Guide You
There are many ways of reaching a settlement agreement that resolves your divorce issues – including who gets the dog – without relying on a judge to decide for you. Our experienced attorneys can help you get your fair share. Call ADAM to set up an appointment today.