Who Keeps the Dog in a Divorce

Who Keeps the Dog in a Divorce?

Pets are integral to many families, so deciding their fate during a divorce can be incredibly emotional. Unfortunately, Texas law views pets as personal property, meaning they fall under the state's property division statutes.


As a Dallas family lawyer, I often guide clients through these sensitive negotiations. Let's break down how Texas courts typically handle pet ownership during divorce so you have a better idea of who keeps the dog in divorce.


Factors Divorce Court Consider for Pets

There isn't a straightforward answer to who gets the pet. Unlike child custody, where the focus is on the child's best interests, courts don't have that same luxury with pets. They might consider:


  • Who purchased the pet: If one spouse owned the pet prior to marriage, it's often considered separate property, remaining with that spouse.

  • Primary caregiver: Who handled vet visits, feeding, walking, and training? This shows responsibility in ownership.

  • Bonding with family members: Is the pet particularly attached to one spouse? Do the children have a strong connection with the pet?

  • Best Life: Which spouse has the space or resources to give the pet a fulfilling and comfortable life?

Who Gets Pet Ownership in Divorce?

Ideally, you and your spouse amicably decide who keeps the pet.
Mediation can be a great way to facilitate conversations about dividing property, including pets. If that's not possible, the court may ultimately decide, potentially leaving both parties unhappy.

Here are some possible outcomes:

  • Sole ownership: One spouse gets full ownership and responsibility for the pet.

  • Joint Custody: You could share time with the pet, though this comes with potential logistical challenges.

  • Buyout: This is rare, but if the pet is valuable, one spouse might keep the pet in exchange for compensation paid to the other.

Protecting Your Rights and Your Pet's Well-Being

Divorce is stressful, and the thought of losing your furry companion can worsen the situation. Here's what to do:


  • Document anything that could demonstrate your connection and commitment to the pet (vet records in your name, adoption papers, photos, videos, etc.).

  • Prepare an argument after considering what's truly best for your pet's health and happiness. Can you realistically provide the space, attention, and care it needs?

  • Seek legal counsel, like Nilsson Legal Group: Our Fort Worth divorce lawyers know the intricacies of property division in Texas and can advocate for your rights regarding your pet.  Call our office at (817) 953-6688 for information.

Divorce Attorney in Fort Worth Spencer Nilsson

I'm Spencer Nilsson, a family law attorney in Fort Worth, Texas. In 2013, I founded Nilsson Legal Group, focusing solely on family law. Since then, our attorneys helped hundreds of clients in Tarrant County and nearby areas in North Texas to achieve favorable outcomes to keep their pets. We understand the emotional and legal challenges families face, including who keeps the family pet, and we're committed to providing compassionate and skilled representation.


Family Attorneys You Can Trust

While pets bring immense joy, determining who gets to keep the dog in divorce adds another layer of complexity to an already difficult situation. Understanding your legal options and presenting a strong case helps protect your interests and those of your beloved animal companion.


At Nilsson Legal Group, we understand the deep bond between you and your pets. If you're facing divorce, we'll help you navigate these challenging dynamics and work towards the best possible resolution for everyone involved. Schedule a consultation today to discuss your unique situation.  Our office is conveniently located at 930 W. 1st. St, Suite 200 in Fort Worth, Texas.


Online Divorce Platforms

Comparing Texas Online Divorce Assistance Services

As a Fort Worth divorce lawyer, I've seen the landscape of family law shift dramatically with the introduction of online divorce services. Nowadays online divorce platforms promise greater ease and savings with a click and a swipe.

But before you trade in a real-life divorce lawyer for a chatbot, let's compare Texas online divorce assistance services to help you make the smartest choice about how to expedite your divorce.

Types of Texas Online Divorce Assistance Services

With the rise of online legal services, the landscape of divorce has shifted dramatically.

Today, couples seeking an amicable split can turn to DIY online divorce services in Texas that offer a seemingly convenient and affordable alternative. Let's take a closer look these online divorce platforms, their offerings, and the potential pitfalls to completing a divorce using online  divorce assistance services.


LegalZoom provides a comprehensive suite of divorce documents, including petitions, agreements, and child custody forms. They also offer online guidance and educational resources.

Pros: LegalZoom is user-friendly, with a step-by-step process and clear instructions. Their prices are relatively affordable, starting at around $299 for a basic divorce package.

Cons: LegalZoom cannot provide legal advice, and their forms may not be suitable for complex cases. There are also reports of some errors in their documents, which could lead to costly delays or legal issues.

Rocket Lawyer

Rocket Lawyer offers a similar range of divorce documents and forms as LegalZoom, along with access to a network of attorneys for consultations.

Pros: Rocket Lawyer allows you to connect with an attorney for a one-time consultation fee, which can be helpful if you have specific questions about your case. Their prices are also competitive, starting at around $399 for a basic divorce package.

Cons: Like LegalZoom, Rocket Lawyer cannot provide ongoing legal advice, and their forms may not be suitable for all cases. Additionally, the quality of consultations with online attorneys can vary depending on the lawyer's experience and expertise.


3StepDivorce focuses on simplifying the divorce process with a three-step online system. They provide basic divorce forms and educational resources.

Pros: 3StepDivorce is the most affordable option on this list, with prices starting at around $99 for a basic divorce package. They also offer a money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied with their services.

Cons: 3StepDivorce provides the least amount of support compared to other platforms. They do not offer access to attorneys, and their forms may not be suitable for complex cases.

Texas Online Court Assistance Programs

Many states, including Texas, offer online divorce assistance services that provide free or low-cost divorce forms and resources. These programs can be a good option for couples with simple, uncontested divorces.  Visit TexasLawHelp.org for more divorce information and free forms in Texas.

There are also resources available to help you figure out exactly what you need at the State Law Library of Texas, including the forms required for most types of divorce.

Pros: Online divorce assistance services are free or low-cost, making them a good option for budget-conscious couples. They can also provide valuable resources and guidance for navigating the divorce process.

Cons: Online divorce assistance services cannot provide legal advice, and their forms may not be suitable for all cases. Additionally, the quality of information and support can vary depending on the state program.

Limitations of Texas Online Divorce Assistance Services

DIY divorce platforms can be a viable option for couples with simple, uncontested divorces who are comfortable navigating the legal process themselves. However, it is important to be aware of the limitations of these online divorce platforms and to seek legal advice from an experienced divorce attorney if your case is complex or if you have any questions or concerns. You’ll need to concentrate on:

Your emotional well-being: Divorce is a stressful and emotional process. Make sure you are in a good place emotionally before attempting a DIY divorce online.

The complexity of your case: If your divorce case is complex, such as whether you have children or significant assets, it is best to consult with a Texas divorce attorney.

Potential for errors: Even minor errors in your divorce paperwork can lead to delays or legal problems.

More Downsides of Texas Online Divorce Assistance Services

Let's be honest, navigating divorce alone is akin to deciphering ancient hieroglyphics. These online divorce platforms may offer templates, but can they tailor them to the intricate tapestry of your unique situation? No. Can they anticipate the curveballs thrown by your soon-to-be-ex's cunning attorney? Doubtful. Remember, one size rarely fits all, especially when your heart and financial future are on the line.

Lack of Empathy with Automation

Imagine your child custody agreement being created out by an algorithm. While automation may handle simple tasks, online divorce services lack the empathy and strategic nuance needed to navigate the emotional minefield of divorce. A seasoned lawyer, on the other hand, can be your advocate, confidante, and bulldog all rolled into one.

Divorce is often a battlefield of anger, resentment, and competing narratives. Can an algorithm truly understand the human complexities at play? Can it anticipate hidden assets or protect your children from emotional manipulation? I think not.

Cost Comparisons

While Texas online divorce services may seem cheaper upfront, hidden fees may surprise you. Plus, the cost of fixing botched paperwork or facing an unprepared opponent in court can far outweigh the initial "savings." Think of a divorce lawyer as an investment in your future, not an unnecessary expense.

Loyalty of a Lawyer vs. Algorithmic Ambiguity

When you hire a lawyer, you gain a champion in your corner. Someone who's invested in your story, your well-being, and your desired outcome. Online divorce platforms are algorithms with zero vested interest, ready to move onto the next heartbreak as soon as your case closes.

Divorce Lawyer Represents Your Voice in the Courtroom

Technology can be a powerful tool in divorce proceedings. But it is only a tool, not a substitute for human expertise, compassion, and strategic guidance. So, before you take your case to an online divorce service algorithm, remember this:

Your divorce should not be an online transaction.

Choose a divorce lawyer who understands the gravity of your situation, someone who will fight for you, someone who will guide you through the emotional storm toward a brighter future.

Schedule a free consultation with the Nilsson Legal Group in Fort Worth, Texas to navigate this maze together. Because when it comes to your heart and your future, there's no substitute for the human experience.
Divorce Attorney in Fort Worth Spencer Nilsson

I'm Spencer Nilsson, a divorce attorney in Fort Worth, Texas. In 2013, I founded Nilsson Legal Group, focusing solely on family law. Since then, our attorneys have helped many clients in Tarrant County and nearby areas achieve favorable outcomes within the Tarrant County court system. We are skilled divorce attorneys committed to providing compassionate and skilled representation. Please don't hesitate to reach out. 
Paper cut outs of a family split by divorce

Comprehensive Guide to Different Types of Divorce

While the term "divorce" may evoke an emotional whirlwind, clearer understanding of the associated legal terminology can bring you some control and empowerment. Let’s shed some light on the language that surrounds this often tumultuous life event. Prepare yourself as we delve into the very core of the vocabulary defining the 12 different types of divorce.

1. Uncontested Divorce

The is the so-called "kumbaya" type of divorce. In an uncontested divorce, both spouses are on the same page, like two ships gracefully passing in the night. They agree on everything from custody to cash, making the process swift and (relatively) painless.

2. At-Fault Divorce

Now, let's crank up the drama. At-fault divorces point fingers, blaming one spouse for marital mayhem (adultery, cruelty, abandonment). These types of divorce can be nasty brawls, with lawyers sharpening their blades and evidence flying like confetti.

3. No-Fault Divorce

Thankfully, not all divorces are mudslinging contests. No-fault divorces say, "We just don't work anymore," without assigning blame. They're generally quicker and less acrimonious, like ripping off a band-aid instead of slowly peeling it.

4. Arbitration

Think of it as a mini-trial, but with a private judge (arbitrator) chosen by you and your ex. They hear both sides, then issue a final, binding decision. This type of divorce is faster and cheaper than full-blown court battles, but appeals are limited.

5. Collaborative Divorce

Picture divorce as a team sport, not a tug-of-war. Collaborative divorce involves lawyers working with both spouses to craft a win-win settlement, prioritizing cooperation over conflict. It's an ideal type of divorce for amicable couples who want to preserve civility.

6. Contested Divorce

Buckle up, folks, it's courtroom time! Contested divorces are battles waged over custody, assets, and everything in between. Lawyers lead the charge, judges make the calls, and emotions run high. Think "Game of Thrones," but with alimony instead of dragons.

7. Default Divorce

Remember that spouse who ignored the divorce papers? They just earned themselves a default divorce. When one party doesn't respond, the court grants the other's wishes, though it's best to consult a Fort Worth divorce lawyer to ensure fairness.

8. Summary Divorce

Need a quickie divorce? Enter the summary divorce, available in some states, but not in Texas, for marriages under a certain length with limited assets and no minor children. Think of this type of divorce as the express lane of divorce-land.

9. Common Law Divorce

Not all marriages involve a ring and a ceremony. In common law states, living together for a specific period can grant you common law marriage rights, including the right to a divorce.

10. No Contest Divorce

This isn't about throwing in the towel. A no-contest divorce simply means your ex acknowledges the divorce papers but doesn't necessarily agree with everything in them. They're letting the judge decide, rather than fighting it out.

11. Pro Se Divorce

You can represent yourself in court, navigating the legal labyrinth solo. Just remember, pro se (representing yourself) can be very risky, so weigh the pros and cons carefully before taking the plunge.

12. Abandonment Divorce

When one spouse walks out and vanishes without the intent to return, you may qualify for an abandonment divorce. It's not a walk in the park, but Texas courts will allow abandonment divorce when the other person leaves without intention of coming back.

Choose Nilsson Legal for your Divorce

Remember, navigating the different types of divorce can be daunting. That's why the Nilsson Group Law Firm stands ready to be your trusted divorce attorneys. Don't go it alone — contact us today for a free divorce consultation and let our experienced team help you navigate your path to a new beginning.
Divorce Attorney in Fort Worth Spencer Nilsson

I'm Spencer Nilsson, a divorce attorney in Fort Worth, that is passionate about helping you navigate the complexities of divorce types. I believe in empowering you with information like the different types of divorce listed here, and transparency throughout your case, so you can make informed decisions.

In 2013, I founded Nilsson Legal Group, focusing solely on family law. Since then, our team has helped many Tarrant County clients achieve their goals within the family court system. We understand the emotional and legal challenges that families face in divorce, and we're committed to providing compassionate and skilled representation.  
Couple goes through uncontested divorce

A Guide to Uncontested Divorce in Fort Worth, Texas

What is Uncontested Divorce?

I've seen countless couples navigate the often-complex waters of divorce. While some situations require extensive litigation and contested proceedings, many others find peace and resolution through the uncontested route.

Let’s look specifically at uncontested divorces in Fort Worth, TX. We’ll explore their intricacies and demystify the process for any couples seeking an amicable separation.

An uncontested divorce occurs when both spouses agree on all terms of their separation, including property division, child custody and support (if applicable), and alimony. This agreement is then formalized in a court-approved document known as a Marital Settlement Agreement (Texas Family Code § 6.701).

Requirements for Uncontested Divorce in Texas

To qualify for an uncontested divorce in Texas, you must meet the following criteria:

● You and your spouse have resided in Texas for at least six months immediately preceding the filing of the petition: Texas Family Code § 6.201(a)(1).

● You and your spouse have been married at least 60 days: Texas Family Code § 6.201(a)(2).

● You have no minor children together: Texas Family Code § 6.201(a)(3).

● You and your spouse have a signed Marital Settlement Agreement outlining all aspects of your separation, as mentioned above: Texas Family Code § 6.701.

When One Party Contests

While uncontested divorces are often swift and less emotionally taxing, sometimes, one partner may disagree with the terms of the separation. In such situations, the uncontested process cannot proceed.

Scenario 1: One Party Wants to Reconcile

If your spouse expresses a desire to reconcile, you can choose to withdraw the petition for divorce. Alternatively, you can agree to temporary cohabitation and a period of counseling. If reconciliation efforts fail, you can refile for divorce at a later date.

Scenario 2: Disputes Regarding Property Division or Spousal Support

Should disagreements arise regarding property division or spousal support, you and your spouse have three major options:

Negotiation: You can engage in further negotiations with your spouse, aiming to reach a mutually agreeable solution.

Mediation: A neutral third-party mediator can facilitate communication and guide you towards a compromise.

Litigation: If negotiation and mediation fail, you may need to take the contested route, involving court hearings and legal representation.

Scenario 3: Disputes Regarding Child Custody or Support

If you have minor children and disagree on child custody or support arrangements, the court will prioritize the children's best interests. You will need to provide detailed information about your family situation and financial stability. The court may order a custody evaluation or appoint an attorney ad litem to represent the children's interests.

Uncontested Divorce Benefits

Less stress: Uncontested divorces are less adversarial, leading to a calmer and potentially more amicable process.

Faster resolution: By bypassing litigation, uncontested divorces can be finalized much quicker.

Lower costs: Avoiding contested court hearings translates to significant cost savings.

Greater control: You and your spouse have the power to decide on the terms of your separation, leading to a more personalized outcome.

Facing Divorce in Fort Worth, TX?

Uncontested divorce can be a viable option for couples seeking an amicable and efficient separation in Fort Worth, Texas. By understanding the process, its requirements, and potential challenges, you can make informed decisions and navigate the path toward a brighter future. Remember, seeking legal counsel from an experienced Fort Worth family lawyer can provide invaluable guidance and ensure your rights are protected throughout the process.

Nilsson Legal Group offers experienced and compassionate representation for divorce, child custody, spousal support, and more. We understand how sensitive these matters are and provide personalized guidance and support throughout the entire process. Your rights are invaluable and deserve the best support.

Contact NLG today for a free consultation.
Divorce Attorney in Fort Worth Spencer NilssonHello! I'm Spencer Nilsson, a passionate divorce attorney in Fort Worth, TX, dedicated to helping you navigate uncontested divorce. I believe in empowering you with information and transparency throughout your case, so you can make informed decisions.

In 2013, I founded Nilsson Legal Group, focusing solely on family law. Since then, our law firm has helped hundreds of Tarrant County clients achieve positive outcomes within the Fort Worth family court system. We understand the emotional and legal challenges families face, and we're committed to providing compassionate and skilled representation. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Helpful Resources From this Article:
Texas Family Code: https://codes.findlaw.com/tx/family-code/
State Bar of Texas: https://www.texasbar.com
Texas Law Help: https://texaslawhelp.org/
woman sadly considers divorce on new years eve

Is Divorce Your New Year’s Resolution?

As a new year begins, many people struggling with a failing or troubled marriage have started considering divorce.

The New Year signifies a fresh start and a time to make positive changes in your life.