By Emily Kelley, Esq.
People love their pets. According to the Humane Society of the United States, 62% of households in the United States have at least one pet  with 63.2% of those people considering and treating their animals as family members.  In 2013, Americans spent $56 billion dollars on their pets.  Given our emotional attachment to our animals, and the financial responsibility that comes with pet care, it makes sense that in a 2014 survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 27% of responding participants noted an increase in pet-custody fights over the past five years.  Therefore, more and more people are specifically including their pets in their prenuptial or postnuptial agreements. And an increasing number of people are wishing they had planned ahead and included their pet pals such agreements now that they are facing divorce. 
While the law has traditionally treated pets as property, that trend is gradually changing    and including Fido or Felix in prenuptial agreements is gaining popularity in the legal field.   Judges are now being asked to analyze what is in the best interest of the pet, similar to determining child custody, when such a decision could have been avoided with some advanced planning. 
At Feldmann Nagel Cantafio Margulis Gonnell PLLC, we understand people's devotion for their pets. The Family Law Practice Group can draft prenuptial or postnuptial agreements that can alleviate or mitigate a custody battle over the pets in the event of a divorce. Got questions? Feel free to give us a call.