In Minnesota, pets are not given any consideration about what is best for them in a divorce proceeding under the statutes. Pets are divided as if the same as a kitchen table, couch, etc. The idea of buying someone out of their share of Fido seems awful and archaic as pet owners know they are family members.
A groundbreaking, significant change in divorce law took effect in Alaska in January of this year. Alaska is now the first state to acknowledge that Fido is not the kitchen table, but they are family! This is a monumental shift from considering pets as personal property as Minnesota sees them.
Alaska law now mandates that judges in divorce cases look at what is best for the pet when deciding who is awarded the pet in a divorce proceeding. This is more congruent to thoughts of litigants who are asking for custody determinations for their pets.
Pet owners should take note of this change and hopefully we will see more of this seismic shift occur in other states around the country.
If you have questions related to a possible dissolution of marriage, child custody questions, or parenting time concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office at (952) 224-9410.