John P. Paone Jr., esq. and Victoria E. Paone, esq.Two River Times
Americans have a love affair with pets. According to a recent survey, “three-fourths of Americans in their 30s have dogs, while 51 percent have cats.” It is not uncommon for people to spend thousands of dollars per year on pet clothing/accessories, food, photographs, medicine and the like. But what happens to “Fluffy” when parties go through a divorce?
Under the common law, pets were treated as chattel. Put another way, just a typical piece of property to be distributed like an automobile or a piano. In today’s world, however, there is a growing consensus that pets are more like family members and less like property.