The law says that household pets can be relationship property. That means partners have to share them when a relationship ends. The problem is that a pet cannot be physically divided.
A pet is also different to other types of property. A pet can offer a family love and friendship. But it also has ongoing care needs.
There have been a few court cases when people could not agree what should happen to a pet when they separated. In those cases, the courts have said that the pet should live with the partner that can best provide for the pet’s best interests.
For instance, in one case the partners separated but they both wanted to keep their dog. One partner lived on a big rural property whereas the other had moved into a townhouse. The court said it was better for the dog to stay with the partner at the rural property. But the court ordered that the partner who kept the dog had to pay half the dog’s value to the other partner.
Do you think this is the right outcome?
What do you think?