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Will I have to give up my dog in property division?

Planning for a happy future might be easy enough, but what about preparing for less than ideal situations? While Louisiana couples might not think that they will ever divorce, the simple truth is that many couples end up untying the knot. When couples are not prepared for this event, they may end up fighting over property division or even losing out on something precious to them, like their pets.

According to family law, a pet is property. It does not matter if an owner views their four-legged friend as a valued member of the family or if they have a deep emotional connection, because a judge still only sees one thing -- a piece of property that has to be divided. Sure, many divorcing couples do choose to work out what to do with their pooches outside of court, but this can easily turn sour. Virtually no one wants to see their dog turn into a bargaining chip during divorce.

A prenuptial agreement can help solve these issues. Couples can use this family law planning tool before they marry to determine who will keep their pet in the event of a divorce, or they can even set up a pet custody arrangement so that they can both still see their pet. This keeps issues about the pet out of the courtroom and cuts off the possibility of one person turning a living, breathing creature into little more than a negotiation tool to get what that person wants.

Prenuptial agreements are useful for more than just protecting pet ownership. Indeed, many people address things property division in their prenups by outlining which property is separate and which is community property. While this might feel unnecessary for happy Louisiana couples, being prepared for all life outcomes is usually preferable than going into situations without the right protections.

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