Pets are a big part of our lives, so when a divorce happens, many wonder who will get the pet? The Sarnacki Law Firm offers divorce and family law representation in Grand Rapids. Below, we’ll take a look at what happens to the pets under Michigan law. Contact us for a consultation today!

Pets Are Considered Property

Under Michigan divorce law, pets are considered property, so they will be divided up along with the rest of the assets in the divorce.

Did You Own the Pet Before the Marriage?

Michigan is a state that follows the equitable distribution of property when it comes to a divorce. This means that property is classified as separate or marital. Therefore, if the pet was solely yours before you got married and remains bonded to you, you will have a strong argument for keeping the pet.

Was the Pet a Present?

If the pet was bought as a present for one of the spouses in the marriage, then the pet may belong solely to the spouse who received the pet as a gift. This also pertains to pets that were inherited should you end up with a pet left to you in a will.

Work Together to Determine Who Gets the Pet

The best option for determining who gets the pet is for you and your spouse to decide. If you leave it up to the court, your pet is just considered another asset, meaning it will be assigned by the court to one of you, not both. This can be heart wrenching to say the least.


Trust Dave Sarnacki as your divorce lawyer of choice in Grand Rapids. With decades of experience, he can help you navigate the complicated divorce process. Call for a consultation today.