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Couples Use Prenuptial Agreements to Cover Pet Custody Issues

New research from Direct Line Pet Insurance has revealed that as many as 28% of people would consider putting a prenuptial agreement in place to cover custody of their pets in the event that a relationship breaks down.

A ‘pet-nuptial’ is a deed of agreement between the parties who set out clearly what will happen in relation to the pets in the event of a relationship breakdown or the parties no longer living together. Pet-nuptials can be specifically drafted to apply to an individual case in the event of a separation caused by divorce, dissolution of a civil partnership or the end of cohabitation or a split from university friends who are no longer going to stay in the same accommodation.

The normal content of a pet-nuptial will resolve where the pet will live, how often each of the parties should see the pet, who will pay for the costs of the pet or insurance, and a multitude of other issues specific to the parties themselves

When it comes to pet ownership, Direct Line found that people don’t believe animals should be treated like property, with the purchaser being considered the legal owner. The majority of Brits (58%) believe ownership should be determined by the person who is the primary carer. Despite the fact that the carer may not have purchased the pet, the relationship with the dog or cat should be the main consideration when deciding on ownership.

Just one in six (15%) would say that the person who purchased the animal, or collected it from the rescue shelter, should be considered its owner and a mere one in twenty believe that the person who pays for food and vet treatment (both four per cent) should be considered its owner.

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For expert legal advice on the use of prenuptial agreements, or other areas of family law, then contact our specialist family lawyers today.

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