Question

My partner and I have just separated, we have a dog, who I share the primary responsibility for and always take him to the vet. My partner however suddenly has taken an interest and also wants to keep the dog on our separation.

Answer

Household pets are considered a “family chattel”. They are therefore  relationship property, where acquired and are subject to the equal sharing rule.

Such disputes can end up as a 05.15 hearing in the Family Court or as part of an overall relationship property hearing.

There can also be issues around who should pay for the vet expenses post separation as well.

Conclusion

Pets are an item of relationship property. Unfortunately, they are often used as leverage to negotiate higher sums of money and remain in the home by one party.