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.


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/
father and child watch sunset

When Should You Call a Father’s Rights Lawyer in Fort Worth?

If you are a father going through a divorce or custody dispute over your children in the Fort Worth, TX, area, you may be wondering if you need to hire a father’s rights lawyer like me to protect your parental rights.


As a Fort Worth divorce lawyer, I’ve seen my share of cases and understand that divorce and custody battles can become contentious, especially when it comes to determining custody arrangements and visitation schedules.


Having an experienced father’s rights lawyer can make all the difference. Here are some signs it may be time to call on Nilsson Legal Group in Fort Worth, TX for help with your custody case.

You Feel Your Rights as a Parent Are Being Violated

As a father, you have certain legal parental rights regardless of whether you are married to the child’s mother. These rights include being involved in major decisions about your child’s welfare, spending meaningful time with your child, and having access to school and medical records.


If your child’s mother tries to cut off access to your child or excludes you from important choices regarding healthcare, education, or religion, it may be time to stand up for your rights as a dad with my team’s help.


Our attorneys can help you build a strong case against the obstacles your face and ensure you remain an equal parent, despite the spite of your ex.

Your Ex-Spouse Isn’t Complying with Your Informal Custody Arrangement

Sometimes, divorced or unmarried couples start off trying to manage custody arrangements, visitation schedules, and child support on their own informally without going to court.


I’ve seen these types of deals regularly break down over time if one parent fails to comply with the expectations.


For instance, if your ex suddenly stops letting you see your kids or frequently cancels your visitation at the last minute, don’t suffer in silence.


Call us today for reputable Fort Worth father's rights representation. Trust us to protect your rights as a dad. My team and I can help formalize a fair child custody and visitation schedule, which your ex-spousemust legally abide by.

You Disagree with the Current Custody and Visitation Schedule

Even if you have a formal custody arrangement ordered by the court, as circumstances change, you may decide the current schedule really isn’t in your child's best interests anymore.


For example, maybe your work schedule has shifted significantly, making the current visitation plan impractical. Or perhaps your child is old enough to express wanting more time with dad.


Don’t take matters into your own hands and violate the court order. Call our law firm so I can formally petition the court to modify the custody order in a way that works better for you and your kids.

You’re Concerned the Mother May Relocate with Your Child

One of the biggest fears divorced dads have is an ex deciding to move away with the children when the divorce is finalized.


Relocation disputes require legal intervention. If your ex mentions wanting to move to another city or state, even without a formal parenting plan, immediately call Nilsson Legal Group.


I can request the court prevent the other parent from moving by filing a temporary injunction while custody is resolved. Don’t wait, or you risk not seeing your kids for months.

Your Ex Makes False Accusations Against You

Unfortunately, contentious divorces and custody battles sometimes entail one parent making exaggerated or outright false accusations about the other parent being an unfit influence.


Mothers may accuse the father of things like drug addiction, child abuse, domestic violence, and more, which could restrict your custody rights.


Never ignore serious allegations like this, especially if they aren’t true. Call me right away to build your defense and advocacy strategy against bogus claims.

Choose a Trusted Father's Rights Lawyer

Going through a custody battle or divorce as a father while trying to look out for your children’s well-being can be immensely challenging. You don’t have to do it alone.


Trust Nilsson Legal Group in Fort Worth to bring a caring yet aggressive   Father’s Rights approach to your situation.


Whether negotiating an initial custody arrangement or fighting false allegations against you, legal guidance makes a big difference. Call today to schedule your free consultation at (817) 953-6688.
Parent Teacher Meeting and Communication

How to Communicate with Teachers Amidst a Divorce

Going through a divorce is difficult for all family members, including children. As you prepare for back-to-school season in Texas during the transition, it’s important to ensure your child’s school and teachers are informed about any major changes to child custody arrangements, emergency contacts, or other important details.


Especially during your divorce, your children’s needs always come first. Effective communication can help provide stability and success for your child during a transitional time and avoid confusion at school.


Let’s explore some communication strategies that can help keep education the focus on the school year for your child.

Notify the School About the Divorce

The first step is contacting your child’s school administration to notify them that you have separated or divorced from your spouse.

This gives the admin a heads up about potential changes ahead.

Provide both parents' names and contact information, and let the school know if one parent should be restricted from picking up your child per a custody agreement.


If any restraining orders are in place, this is also essential information to pass along.

Update Emergency Contact Info

One of the most important things you’ll want to update is your child’s emergency contact information with their Fort Worth schools. Provide current phone numbers and addresses for both parents as well as step-parents or anyone else authorized to care for your child if you can’t be reached.


Make it clear who the primary emergency contacts are in order of priority.

Discuss Custody Arrangements with Teachers

Have a discussion with your child’s core teachers to explain the custody schedule and arrangements. This discussion is essential if younger children require someone to collect them after school.


If you have a co-parenting schedule, let teachers know what days or weeks your child will be with each parent and provide contact information for following up with the right guardian at the right time.


If one parent is not authorized to pick up your child from school, make teachers aware of this.


Also, discuss how you plan to coordinate with your ex for things like curriculum nights, concerts, and other events.

Request Separate Teacher Communications

To avoid confusion, ask that the school send separate alerts and progress reports to each parent rather than just one family message.


Also, clarify with teachers how you prefer for them to communicate with each household. Whether it’s emails, phone calls, or weekly notes home, consistent and clear guidelines will avoid situations where one parent feels left out or tries to hold power over the other.

Inform Teachers About Changes in Home Life

While respecting your child’s privacy, give teachers a heads-up about any major changes in your child’s home life.

Situations like a parent moving to a new home, adjusting to step-siblings, or changing work schedules can easily impact homework time.
Letting your child’s teachers know about certain situations will help them understand any behavioral shifts or help your child work through any transitions.

Coordinate Schoolwork and Projects

Discuss with teachers how you plan to coordinate schoolwork, projects, and home learning with your ex. If your child goes back and forth between two homes, they may need help keeping organized..


Work with teachers and discuss back to school tips for sharing school-related information through digital calendars, apps, or other means. Offer solutions for making sure your child has what they need for homework and projects at both locations.

Plan for Back-to-School Events

Back-to-school nights, parent conferences, school concerts, and other events require coordination ahead of time when parents are divorced. Make a plan with your ex-spouse for who will attend which events and how you will split them up. Then communicate that plan with your child’s teacher so they know who to expect at each occasion. If attending together causes conflict, see if you can participate separately.

Adjust as Needed

Remember that communication with your child’s school during a divorce transition is ongoing. Even in an uncontested divorce, plans can change on a dime, and your child’s teachers must stay in the loop to ensure student safety.


Stay patient and continue meeting with teachers or school staff to adjust emergency contacts, custody schedules or other details as needed over the school year.

Get Through Divorce Faster with Fort Worth Divorce Lawyer

Going through a divorce while kids are in school creates many adjustments, but good communication with teachers and administration can help ease the stress of change.


Clear communication can minimize confusion and provide stability for your child during a point in their lives when they feel out of control.


However, this teamwork only gets your family so far, and you’ll want to have more time away from the negotiation table and with your children to help start the healing process.


Nilsson Legal Group is a team of Fort Worth divorce lawyers serving Tarrant County that can help make your divorce swift and fair. From child custody to marital property division, we’re here to get you into the next chapter of your life.


Schedule your free consultation today!