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Over a quarter of UK divorces involved dispute over pet custody

More than 28,500 of the 111,000 divorce cases in 2018 included the custody of a pet; equating to a staggering 90 disputes every day, new data from Direct Line Pet Insurance reveals.

Over the last three years, family lawyers have recorded a 24 per cent increase in requests to draw up pre-nuptial agreements which include the custody of a pet; also known as a ‘pet-nup’. The data revealed an average of 25 hours per divorce case is spent discussing the rights to the couples’ pet.

13.7 million adults have said they would consider setting up a pet-nup agreement in the event of a relationship breakdown. According to the research, two-fifths (41 per cent) of 18-34-year olds would consider a pet-nup, compared to just one in seven (15 per cent) of those aged 55 or over.

The survey of more than 2,000 UK adults found that, in the event of a breakdown of a relationship, more than half of owners would set up a financial agreement to look after the pet, while 47 per cent would consider shared custody.

Unfortunately, a divorce can also result in the pet being removed from both parties. Forty-one per cent of divorcing couples have said they would give their pet to a friend or family member, a quarter of respondents would consider giving their pet to a shelter or rescue centre, while 17 per cent would sell their pet.

Prit Powar, Head of Pet Insurance at Direct Line, concluded on the findings:

“A break up or divorce is a really stressful time for everyone included, including the pets that often picks up on their owner’s emotions. Like children, pets benefit from routine and a breakdown of a relationship often means moving home or moving between homes which can be a big upheaval.”

Contact our Divorce Lawyers Paisley, Renfrewshire & Glasgow

If you are currently going through a divorce, or you and your partner are considering getting a pre-nuptial agreement in place, it is imperative you get expert legal advice and representation from a qualified professional. Speak with a member of our family law team today via the online enquiry form

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