Do You Need a Pet Prenup?


If you're an animal lover thinking about tying the knot, Pasadena family law attorneys say you may want to join the growing number of people asking for a pet prenup.

Pet prenups are being promoted as a way to avoid bitter divorce battles like the one between celebrity couple Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith. After they announced their plans to end their almost 20-year marriage last June, Griffith said she intended to fight for custody of their three dogs.

Having a prenuptial agreement that addresses pet custody issues in the event of a divorce is a smart move for any loving pet owner. A prenup prevents an angry ex from attempting to use a pet as leverage during a divorce, so you won't be forced to choose between giving up Fido or Fluffy and receiving a settlement that's in your best long-term financial interests.

A pet prenup is also a clever way to work around antiquated divorce laws relating to the treatment of animals. Although many people consider their pets to be cherished members of the family, divorce laws tend to treat animals more like property than four-legged children. However, if you have a properly prepared prenup that addresses pet custody issues, there is no reason why your wishes won't be upheld in court.

Some issues to discuss in a pet prenup include:

  • Who will maintain custody of the animal?
  • Will the other spouse be allowed to visit the animal?
  • How will you handle the payment of your pet care related expenses?
  • Who will have the authority to make medical decisions for your pet?

How Can We Help?

If you would like assistance preparing a prenuptial agreement that addresses pet custody issues, please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at Our Pasadena family law firm is staffed with experienced attorneys who can prepare a prenup that will allow you to walk down the aisle with confidence.