Q: If I break up with my partner, who will get to keep our dog?
A: When a de facto relationship that lasted 3+ years, marriage or civil union ends, all family chattels – such as pets and household furniture – should be divided evenly, unless you’ve signed a Contracting Out Agreement (a.k.a. a prenup) that says otherwise.
Ideally, you would work out an arrangement that suits both of you and record the specifics in a written separation agreement. This agreement will be helpful if there’s a dispute later down the track.
The separation agreement should note details such as where the pet will live, how often each of you will be able to see it and who will be financially responsible.
If you can’t reach an agreement, the next step would be mediation or going to the Family Court.
Note: This post is brief and general in nature. You should not treat it as legal advice and should seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters dealt with in this post. Armstrong Murray accepts no liability for losses suffered by any person or organisation who may rely directly or indirectly on this post.