After a divorce, who gets the dog? Rose Law Group family attorney Audra Petrolle explains ‘furry friend’ options in Arizona

I recommend a petnup.

By Steven Petrow | The New York Times

“I have some good news,” my divorce lawyer told me during our second consultation in her downtown Durham, N.C., office. Before divulging it, she asked a question: “Are you willing to pay $16,000 for Zoe?”

In our first meeting I’d explained to the lawyer, Milan Pham, that I didn’t really care about our “stuff.” “North Carolina state law is clear,” she told me. “Community property — property acquired during the marriage — is to be divided equally.” Anything Jim and I had owned separately before the marriage was still his and his.

But Zoe was not “stuff.”


“In Arizona, pets are technically property no matter how much we love our fur babies. And, property acquired prior to marriage is the sole and separate property of the person who acquired it. Knowing that risk, if you fall in love with your significant other’s premarital furry friend, you could always ask the other party to enter into a post marital agreement to share the time with the pets in the event of divorce.

Similarly, if you acquire the pets together during marriage, then you could work out a visitation agreement in the event of divorce assuming the parties can agree. However, if the pet is community property and the parties cannot agree on a pet sharing arrangement, then, in all likelihood, the Court will simply award the pet to one party or the other.”

~Audra Petrolle

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