From Pre-Nups to Pet-Nups: How Are Animals Considered In Divorce?

Earlier this year a pet insurer survey showed that a quarter of all divorces feature custody battles over dogs. 

To many, this may seem ridiculous, but to those who have them, a dog or indeed any pet is very much a core part of the family. And whilst many owners treat them like children, in law, pets are classed merely as property to be counted as an asset and issued to either party. 

Statistics say that 1 in 14 owners who consider their pets a part of the family are now setting down pet-nups that set out the terms for sharing and responsibility of each party in the event of a split.

Should we be surprised? Not really.  The British are generally known to be responsible animal owners and so it stands to reason that pet-nups are on the increase as more and more people hear about them.

Items covered in pet-nups include shared custody, vaccination agreements, microchipping, financial arrangements covering insurance payments and vet bills and matters in the event of the pet’s death. 

It’s advisable that a pet-nup reflects the family situation at the time the pet-nup is written. For example, it’s likely that the lead pet carer would wish to continue to be the lead carer in the event of any split.  This will avoid the pet becoming a focal part of any future confrontation.

Are you a pet owner? Have you considered a pet-nup? Why not talk to the team here at Robertsons on 029 20237777 or email  We don’t bite!


Our Expert Team

Our expertise is how we maintain our strong reputation as a law firm.

Meet The Team