When a couple decide to get a divorce, what happens to everything from the house to the hamster has to be agreed upon, if a potentially lengthy and costly court battle is to be avoided.
The rise in popularity of prenups, particularly among the younger generation, shows that more couples are taking a practical approach to what should happen to their assets – and pets – should their relationship break down in the future.
What is a ‘pet prenup’?
Before looking specifically at the ‘pet prenup’ or ‘petnup’, it’s important to define the term ‘prenuptial agreement’.
A prenuptial agreement is a legal agreement, entered into before the wedding, which details how assets should be divided if a couple divorce.
While a prenuptial agreement is not automatically legally binding in England and Wales, as long as it is entered into correctly (both parties must have received independent legal advice, for example), and provides for a fair outcome, a court is much more likely to uphold it.
‘Pet prenups’ or ‘petnups’ are terms used to describe prenuptial agreements which detail what will happen to the family pet (who will look after it, for example), should a couple separate further down the line.
Why sign a pet prenup?
Entering into a prenuptial agreement is a way of deciding what should happen to your assets – and pets – while you are both on good terms. Agreeing beforehand how everything would be divided should your relationship ever break down, may save a lot of heartache and stress in the future.
Even though they are not automatically legally binding, prenups can help to reduce areas of dispute, should you end up getting a divorce.
Always seek independent legal advice from a specialist family lawyer
In order to ensure that a prenuptial agreement is given substantial weight in court, it’s important that it is entered into correctly.
It’s crucial that both parties seek separate legal advice before entering into the agreement, ideally well in advance of the wedding.
Agreeing what should happen to your pets in advance, can help to stop animals being caught up in disputes – and can save a lot of distress for both you and your pets.
Make an appointment with our family law solicitors to discuss your pet prenup. Due to COVID-19, we are offering all clients complimentary video consultations via Skype. Call us today to schedule your complimentary video consultation.