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When pets are valuable: Your asset division matters

What happens if your pet is more than just a pet? Your dog is a champion and brings in an income. You train him hard and breed your other pets as well. You make thousands this way, but how will the courts address this?

When you're going through a high-asset divorce that relies on an income from your pets, you should know that your pets are still going to be treated as assets. They may be addressed as business assets if you have a business license or started a breeding business with your spouse. In cases where the dog is simply a marital asset, then it may be divided as such. How can you make sure you get what you deserve when you're dealing with such a valuable pet?

1. Get the right documents for the court

If your dog is a champion or show breed, then you may wish to gather up all the paperwork you have to prove its value to you as more than just your pet. On top of this, you'll want to gather information on who takes care of your dog, who is financially able to provide for the dog's care, who takes the dog to shows and events and other important factors that should influence the case.

2. Estimate the value of your pet

Like any other asset, your pet's value needs to be assessed. In this case, you may know that your dog's puppies bring in $4,000 each and that you planned two more litters, so you could estimate that the dog has the potential to bring in $48,000 in the next two litters if there are six pups in each. Your above documents should help you show that your dog's previous litters are in high demand or worth the value above. If your dog has not had a litter, then consider looking at other dogs in the same breed and what their litters go for on average to determine a fair value.

It can be more difficult to value a pet, and in cases like above, doing so accurately is important to the asset division process. Your attorney can help you understand what you need to have before you go to court.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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