Divorce & Lassie
https://mfmnv.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/logo-300x92.png 0 0 Tanika Capers https://mfmnv.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/logo-300x92.png Tanika Capers2017-08-10 14:03:542017-12-12 11:02:24Divorce & Lassie
Divorce is a difficult and troubling time for most. Divorce gets especially hard when a couple has to determine what to do with Fido, Zeus or Sebastian. The pet industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. For many Americans without children, or for even those with children, the family pet is just that – FAMILY. Thus, what happens to your furry loved one in a divorce can have serious emotional impact for all involved.
The sometimes callous and impassionate legal system regards animals as chattels. A chattel is a tangible, movable, or immovable, item of property, except real estate or other things connected with reap property. In other words, a pet is a piece of property. That’s a pretty cold definition of a member of our family! NRS 193.021 states, “personal property includes dogs, domestic animals, and birds.” Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending upon your point of view, in the eyes of the law, your pet is akin to a vase or a car. Under NRS 41.740, “a person can sue for damages should anything happen to his or her animal, not to exceed $5,000.”
According to NRS 123.130 and case law, all property acquired after marriage is presumed community property, which is to be divided equally. This creates an interesting dilemma when it comes to deciding what to do with the family pet upon divorce. Only the judge’s discretion determines the outcome unless the parties can come to a mutually agreed upon agreement. In an ideal world, a divorcing couple should put aside their differences and do what is in the best interest of the pet.
Should a new law be promulgated to elevate Lassie’s status above a piece of property? Should we establish a ‘best interest of the pet’ standard? Do we order pet support? These questions may seem comical but in reality, thousands of dollars are spent by divorcees willing to pay large sums of money to care for Lassie.
While this is still a growing and fluid area of the law, the Court has options that it can consider when handling this issue. Factors such as, who purchased Lassie, who is the registered owner, bring Lassie into the courtroom and see who Lassie runs too or whoever gets the house, gets Lassie. While these may not seem ideal ways to decide who gets Lassie, it’s all we have until the law catches up understanding our love for Lassie and Fido.
“GOD couldn’t be physically with us so he gave us dogs…& notice Dog spelled backward is GOD and they both show unconditional Love!”~author unknown
By Tanika Capers, Esq.
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