Who Gets to Keep the Pets in a Divorce?

Pets are often considered a part of the family, and when a couple decides to divorce, deciding who gets to keep the pets can be a difficult and emotional process. In Oklahoma, pets are considered personal property, which means they are subject to the same property division rules as other assets like cars and furniture. However, unlike cars and furniture, pets have emotional value, and determining who gets to keep them can be a challenging task. In this blog post, we will discuss the legal considerations of pet ownership in a divorce and provide tips for navigating this process.

Legal Considerations

In Oklahoma, when a couple divorces, the court will divide their property in a manner that is just and equitable. This means that the court will consider various factors when determining how to divide property, including the value of the property, the length of the marriage, and the earning capacity of each spouse. Pets are considered personal property, which means they will be subject to this same property division process.

Tips for Navigating Pet Ownership in a Divorce

1. Consider a Pet Custody Agreement: A pet custody agreement is a legal document that outlines the care and custody of a pet after a divorce. This agreement can help avoid disputes over pet ownership and provide clarity for both parties.

2. Prove Ownership: If you are claiming ownership of a pet, it is important to provide evidence of ownership. This can include adoption papers, veterinary records, and receipts for pet-related expenses.

3. Consider the Best Interests of the Pet: When determining who should keep a pet, it is important to consider the best interests of the pet. This includes factors such as who has been the primary caregiver, who has the means to provide for the pet, and who can provide a stable living environment.

4. Negotiate: If both parties want to keep the pet, it may be possible to negotiate a shared custody arrangement. This can include splitting time with the pet or alternating ownership on a yearly basis.


Deciding who gets to keep the pets in a divorce can be a challenging and emotional process. However, by understanding the legal considerations and following these tips, you can navigate this process with confidence.

If you need assistance with a divorce, Self Legal Group, PLLC is here to help. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

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