Pets, Dog, Cat, Pet, Custody, Co-owner, Relationship, Property, Co-Sign, Deed, House, Agreement, Divorce, Separation.

What To Do When… Your Break Up Includes Pets.

What To Do When Legal Chat Podcast... As Seen on the News from Critzer Cardani PC

WTDW Podcast Home Page – What To Do When… A Dummies Guide to the Legalverse

The objective of the What To Do When… podcast is to discuss common legal scenarios faced by everyday citizens in Virginia. Critzer and Cardani practice law throughout Virginia and focus their practice around the state’s capital of Richmond, in the Piedmont region. Tune in and subscribe to learn about legal topics such as reckless driving by speeding, bad lawyers, Will Knows Weed, juvenile defense, juvenile sex crimes, reckless driving, the legalization of marijuana in Virginia, divorce 101, Child Support, There is Still Hope, and others.

What To Do When… Your Break Up Includes Pets.

On this legal video podcast chat with a Family Law Legal Agreement subject matter in our What To Do When… podcast series, please join our hosts Jackie Critzer and Scott Cardani as they share about What To Do When… The Unwed Breakup. This video and audio podcast episode focuses on a legal process where those who are unwed breakup.

Tune in today for not only our top 3 take-aways, but also some chat about the following subject matters and other helpful action items from a ‘legal chat slant’ from Critzer Cardani’s legal partners.

* Pet Ownership and Divorce Law.
* Jackie Critzer and Scott Cardani discuss how pets are treated in divorce cases.
* Jackie Critzer explains how pets are treated like property in divorce cases.
* Scott Cardani and Jackie Critzer discuss the complexities of dividing pets in a divorce.
* Scott D Cardani and Jackie W Critzer emphasize the importance of understanding the legal implications and making creative decisions to avoid court battles.

Watch the Video, Listen to the Audio version and / or Follow, Like, and Share… “What To Do When…” Legal Chat Podcast from Critzer Cardani PC.

The objective of the What To Do When… podcast is to discuss common legal scenarios faced by everyday citizens in Virginia. Critzer and Cardani practice law throughout Virginia and focus their practice around the state’s capital of Richmond, in the Piedmont region. Tune in and subscribe to learn about legal topics such as reckless driving by speeding, bad lawyers, Will Knows Weed, juvenile defense, juvenile sex crimes, reckless driving, the legalization of marijuana in Virginia, divorce 101, Child Support, There is Still Hope and others.

Thank you for sending us your feedback, questions, or topic suggestions for future #WTDW | What To Do When… episodes by emailing [email protected].

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What To Do When… Intro 00:01
Welcome to What To Do When… A podcast from real lawyers with real perspective, where we explore a variety of legal issues and scenarios. Each week we focus on a new topic and discuss what to do when and if any of these legal scenarios ever happened to you or a loved one. With over 40 years of combined legal experience, our hosts offer their unique perspectives and insights on a range of real life legal situations.

Jackie Critzer 0:28

Hi, welcome back to another podcast here at Critzer Cardani. In Richmond, Virginia. I’m Jackie.

Scott Cardani 0:34

Jackie Critzer 0:36
What To Do When… Your Divorce or Breakup Includes Pets.

Scott Cardani 0:42
Well, what’s the deal with pets?

Jackie Critzer 0:44
Well, it’s not like children. We love our pets like they’re our family. We were dog people here. I think somebody might have a cat, but we’re down people here. And we sometimes bring our dogs in and you know, we they are part of the family. We love them, we take care of them. But in a divorce, they’re not treated nicely.

Scott Cardani 1:05
Wait a minute. So I can’t get custody, my dog.

Jackie Critzer 1:08
I mean, you can get custody of your dog if you have a contractual agreement with your spouse, but a court doesn’t have jurisdiction.

Scott Cardani 1:17
So how does the court look at it?

Jackie Critzer 1:19
It’s just property like a car or…

Scott Cardani 1:22
You say you’re saying my Gus has chattel?

Jackie Critzer 1:25
Chattel is the appropriate word. Yes.

Scott Cardani 1:28
What the heck is chattel?

Jackie Critzer 1:29
Chattel… Just personal property, personalty. Yeah. It’s just another thing. And I actually was part of a trial. Everyone knows Will, Will who works here.

Scott Cardani 1:43
You mean #WillKnowsWeed? Hahahaha

Jackie Critzer 1:45
#WillKnowsWeed that’s the Will. We had a trial together and it was part of a divorce. And they’re the parties were just at complete odds about what to do with their dog. And well, it was acquired during the marriage. So what does that make it? It’s marital, right?

Scott Cardani 2:02

Jackie Critzer 2:02
Even if even if the one person registers the dog and shows proof of purchase if it was purchased during the marriage, the law says it’s presumed marital property.

Scott Cardani 2:11
Oh. so – wait a minute, let’s back that up cuz you really need to hear this. So if I have an AKA registered dog…

Jackie Critzer 2:17

Scott Cardani 2:17
And I sign all the paperwork and I pay the $800 for the dog.

Jackie Critzer 2:21
$800? You got a deal.

Scott Cardani 2:22
Yeah, you didn’t want the dog and I pay the $800. It’s still marital property?

Jackie Critzer 2:26
It is in fact.

Scott Cardani 2:26

Jackie Critzer 2:26
It is. And then you have to feed the dog and take the dog to the vet. And maybe dog sitters or dog walkers, whatever the case may be all of these expenses are paid through marital funds or funds earned during the marriage. So what happens is though in a divorce the dog or the cat, I guess the horse, whatever pet it is, sometimes horses or pets, I guess, is treated just like property. But in that particular case that I was telling you about. We put on evidence about who did take care of the animal and who really invested their time, effort and energy into caring for the animal how the animal responded, there were witnesses about all this dog, you know, just barks and jumps and gets all excited when it sees this person. And I’ve seen that person the other person walk up and it whimpers in hides away. And I mean, you can imagine the testimony that that would be elicited in a trial about pets. But the court only can say you get the animal or you get the animal just like the court could say you get the Christmas tree you get the Christmas tree yeah, there’s there’s not a custody share. There’s not a every other weekend visitation. There’s there’s nothing like that.

Scott Cardani 3:40
So, the same goes with cats. Cats, fish salamanders. Lizards?

Jackie Critzer 3:44

Scott Cardani 3:45
All right. Here’s a good question for you, Jackie.

Jackie Critzer 3:48

Scott Cardani 3:49
I’m a dog breeder.

Jackie Critzer 3:51
You have a business now.

Scott Cardani 3:52

Jackie Critzer 3:53

And I just bred 25 Chihuahuas. I know I didn’t say that right. Chihuahua.

Hopefully for more than one puppy? Chihuahua?

Scott Cardani 4:03
Yeah I guess. I don’t know. Sorry. Anyways, GSP would be the proper thing. Anyway. So we’re breeding GSPs Caleb has a business he’s married and during the marriage, Caleb decides to start breeding GSPs so he has 25 Puppies he just had. Sondra leaves and says I’m done with you. I want to divorce. What happens?

Jackie Critzer 4:30
Well, you have to analyze the business. Is there value to the business there’s obviously inventory. I hate to say that but puppies become inventory. Dogs are then inventory of the business.

Scott Cardani 4:40
What if it’s not a licensed business? What if it’s just something you’re doing in the backyard – back garage.

Jackie Critzer 4:45
Generates income. I would have to argue well, I guess it would depend on the spouse’s position if she says no, I was just a much a part of that as as he was and what she wants 12 other puppies I mean.

Scott Cardani 4:58

Jackie Critzer 4:59
What happens to puppy number 13.

Scott Cardani 5:02
Yeah – it gets really wonky as what we’re trying to say and those things, but again, I think the biggest thing people don’t understand is that it is an animal is really in the courts is just chattel.

Jackie Critzer 5:12
Just property.

Scott Cardani 5:13
I mean, obviously, you can make visitation arrangements and things like that people do it, and they make a contractual agreement that I get the I get GUS on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Jackie Critzer 5:21

Scott Cardani 5:21
You get him on Tuesday and Thursday, and Saturday, whatever. And that works, I guess, it’d be hard to litigate on the other side, when you don’t get me to us for a visit on Tuesday, because it’s not the same as a child.

Jackie Critzer 5:37
We do know a case this was years ago, years ago, this would have been 15 years ago, probably close to it. Where there was an agreement, some sort of property settlement agreement where your wife was to have possession of the of the dog and husband was to have some sort of visitation schedule, he kept the dog never returned it. Believe it or not, that was that was show causable. In other words, the allegation was that he was in contempt of court for failing to abide by a court order. And the court then did order the turnover of the dog to the wife. But I mean, how many $1,000s of dollars in attorneys fees were spent, and that effort, because but that, again, that’s enforcing an agreement. The court didn’t have wouldn’t have the jurisdiction or the authority to say let’s, let’s set up a visitation schedule between the parties.

Scott Cardani 6:26
That’s what I’m trying to get it, that’s something you have to almost do independently through a contract.

Jackie Critzer 6:30
For sure.

Scott Cardani 6:30
It is a contractual arrangement that you can make. And I know that’s important for a lot of people. I mean, a lot of times like we said, these, these pups or cats or whatever, become very much part of the family, like you get a bird like a parent who has been in the family 35 -40 years. You know, there’s a lot of history with that bird. And you know, and you walking off in the sunset with a bird may not be you know, the best thing for me. I mean, there’s an emotional attachment, clearly we get attached to animals and but what we’re trying to get to is to have you understand that when this when there’s a divorce, or even a separation of it’s worse if you guys are just living together. It’s this new generational thing of just living together not getting married -Fraught with problems.

Jackie Critzer 7:16
I mean, look, refer to our podcast about What To Do When… The Unwed Breakup. That’s a good one, too.

Scott Cardani 7:21
Yeah. But you put you put pets in that scenario, and then it’s a real mess.

Jackie Critzer 7:26
I mean, it’s really, you’re in the same spot. Well, and then actually, then that’s not marital property, right? If it’s just two people living together doesn’t matter. Man, man, woman, woman, man, White doesn’t matter.

Scott Cardani 7:37
AKA probably rules, then whoever bought that puppy.

Jackie Critzer 7:40
Who’s it registered to?

Scott Cardani 7:41
Yeah, Absolutely.

Jackie Critzer 7:42
Yeah, like who owns the dog because it’s not marital. You’re not married. But in a marital situation. It’s, it’s just property acquired during the marriage. So…

Scott Cardani 7:52
Yeah, and it’s just important to know that so you don’t have unrealistic expectation, because there’s some people out there and might give you an impression that it’s not that the courts look at it that way. We’re going to look at it that way. But we’re going to help you make the best decision possible. And you need people who understand your passion and love for dogs, because there are some people who, for instance, if you have an attorney, and again, no fault, but they don’t like animals, it’s going to be hard for them to understand the passion that you have about your animal, I should have brought our dogs, we should have brought my dogs better than your dog.

Jackie Critzer 8:24
Well, we should have brought a dog, maybe not all of them. But the point remains. If you can make decisions about your family and how your marriage terminates, it is always better than letting a court decide. So if you can come up with creative ways to solve the pet issue, in a contract, we’re all for that. And we’re definitely capable and able to help you negotiate a contract like that. But if it’s gotta go to court, you have to be aware of that it’s likely going to be one person gets the property and one person doesn’t.

Scott Cardani 8:56
Absolutely. Thank you for listening today. If you have any questions, you can email us @

Jackie Critzer 9:01
[email protected]

Scott Cardani 9:05
Like and Subscribe.

Jackie Critzer 9:06

What To Do When… Outro 09:08
We hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of What To Do When… For more episodes, be sure to subscribe to our podcast and we encourage you to check archives to listen to previous topics. Tune in next week for a new episode and some fresh perspective from Critzer Cardani.

Need Legal Representation? Contact Critzer Cardani.

We look forward to helping you in this venture and Good Luck!