Handy Hints (27) – … but who gets the dog?

2 April 2022


OSD Presents…Handy Hints (12)

“…but who gets the dog?”
It is not unheard of for property matters to be resolved save for the retention of a family pet. If the parties cannot agree, what can the Court do?
A pet is considered to be a chattel (or personal belonging) of one of the parties. In determining the owner, if that is in issue, the Court may consider a number of factors including:
1.     In whose name the pet is registered;
2.     Who was responsible for costs of the pet; and/or
3.     Who cared for the pet.
Once ownership has been established, the Court may consider whether it should alter the ownership. The Court may then consider factors including:
1.     Where the pet has lived post-separation (if relevant);
2.     If the parties have children, where they will primarily live; and/or
3.     Whether the parties have appropriate accommodation for the pet.
While the Court may be persuaded to make interim orders in relation to where the pet should live pending a final Trial, it is generally a difficult to convince a Court that it’s interim property powers should be exercised in this way.
The best option, as with all disputes, is to attend dispute resolution to negotiate an outcome. This may not suit some cases, but most parties benefit from having input in the outcome.

We’re Here to Help

Family law matters can be difficult and complex. If you require any assistance with a family law dispute, always contact a legal practitioner who will be able to help.

O’Sullivan Davies has practitioners experienced in dealing with all family law issues. More information about our services can be found at our About Us page here.


This article is not legal advice and the views and comments are of a general nature only. This article is not to be relied upon in substitution for detailed legal advice.

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