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Couples Are Getting Petnups To Make Sure They Keep The Pets If They Split

Couples Are Getting Petnups To Make Sure They Keep The Pets If They Split

All pet owners know our animals are not just pets. They're part of our family, and for many of us, are like children. But what happens when couples split and are forced to decide who should get custody of their beloved fur baby?

Well, some couples just aren't willing to take the risk that they could end up without their four-legged children, so they're signing petnups just to make sure it never comes to that.


According to Maguire Family Law, one quarter of pet owners have plans in place with regards to what will happen to their pet in the event of a break up.

However, one in 20 are said to have gone to the lengths of signing a petnup, which puts in writing who will get custody of the shared animal if they ever decide to part ways.

While arguments over who keeps 50-inch TV and the oak wood bedroom furniture are inevitable during a break up, the last thing heartbroken couples want to go through is the heartache of having to fight for the rights to their fur baby.


One woman who knows this all too well is London dog owner Hannah who is now battling for custody of her dog Basil after her ex requested 50/50 ownership over the pooch.

The 33-year-old told The Sun: "I'm worried because he works long hours and wouldn't be around to look after him properly.

"It's important to me that our dog is happy and safe and I'm not sure [this arrangement] would give him this."

As well as trying to move forward from the relationship, Hannah is struggling to accept that technically she doesn't have "any more rights over my ex in terms of who gets to keep [Basil]."

Now, couples are being urged to decide who the primary caregiver will be before adopting. This thought is echoed by the managing director of Maguire Family Law, who told the publication: "Obviously, the emotional attachment to pets can be huge, which is why we see so much upset over who gets to keep them when a couple breaks up.

"People may find that if they draw up a petnup, there may be issues around its enforceability if there's a dispute.

"But we find if a couple agrees matters up front, they usually stick to this."

While no couple expects to split up, a petnup could certainly save a lot of heartache further down the line.

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/Jack Fincham

Topics: Life, Life News, Real, Sex & Relationships

Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Junior Journalist at PRETTY52. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining the team in 2017. Contact her on


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