This pet custody agreement is between
The parties were in a
During the course of their relationship, the parties acquired certain pets, namely
The parties are in the process of dissolving their relationship and wish to divide custody of the Pet(s).
The parties therefore agree as follows:
1. CUSTODY AND VISITATION.
Having considered their respective financial circumstances, their respective present and future earning capacities, and their respective custody obligations, the parties shall allocate expenses for the Pet(s) as follows:
3. TRANSPORTATION ARRANGEMENTS.
The Pet(s) shall be exchanged between the parties as follows:
6. MAJOR DECISIONS.
Both parties have the right to make major decisions affecting the Pet(s). Each party may make decisions regarding the day-to-day care of the Pet(s) while the Pet(s) are residing with that party, including any emergency decisions affecting the health or safety of the Pet(s)without consultation with the other party. The party with whom the Pet(s) are then residing will be responsible for taking the Pet(s) to any regularly scheduled veterinary appointments and for handling any veterinary emergencies.
7. ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS.
The parties each represent that he or she:
9. GOVERNING LAW.
No amendment to this agreement will be effective unless it is in writing and signed by a party or its authorized representative.
11. COUNTERPARTS; ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES.
If any provision contained in this agreement is, for any reason, held to be invalid, illegal, or unenforceable in any respect, that invalidity, illegality, or unenforceability will not affect any other provisions of this agreement, but this agreement will be construed as if the invalid, illegal, or unenforceable provisions had never been contained in it, unless the deletion of those provisions would result in such a material change so as to cause completion of the transactions contemplated under this agreement to be unreasonable.
No waiver of a breach, failure of any condition, or any right or remedy contained in or granted by the provisions of this agreement will be effective unless it is in writing and signed by the party waiving the breach, failure, right, or remedy. No waiver of any breach, failure, right, or remedy will be deemed a waiver of any other breach, failure, right, or remedy, whether or not similar, and no waiver will constitute a continuing waiver, unless the writing so specifies.
15. ENTIRE AGREEMENT.
This agreement constitutes the final agreement of the parties. It is the complete and exclusive expression of the parties' agreement with respect to the subject matter of this agreement. All prior and contemporaneous communications, negotiations, and agreements between the parties relating to the subject matter of this agreement are expressly merged into and superseded by this agreement. The provisions of this agreement may not be explained, supplemented, or qualified by evidence of trade usage or a prior course of dealings. Neither party was induced to enter this agreement by, and neither party is relying on, any statement, representation, warranty, or agreement of the other party except those set forth expressly in this agreement. Except as set forth expressly in this agreement, there are no conditions precedent to this agreement's effectiveness.
The descriptive headings of the sections and subsections of this agreement are for convenience only, and do not affect this agreement's construction or interpretation.
This agreement will become effective when all parties have signed it. The date this agreement is signed by the last party to sign it (as indicated by the date associated with that party's signature) will be deemed the date of this agreement.
18. NECESSARY ACTS; FURTHER ASSURANCES.
Each party shall use all reasonable efforts to take, or cause to be taken, all actions necessary or desirable to consummate and make effective the transactions this agreement contemplates or to evidence or carry out the intent and purposes of this agreement.
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Each party is signing this agreement on the date stated opposite that party's signature.
How-to guides, articles, and any other content appearing on this page are for informational purposes only, do not constitute legal advice, and are no substitute for the advice of an attorney.
Break-ups are difficult for everyone involved. Sifting through property purchased during the relationship can be tricky and agonizing for unmarried and divorcing couples. After deciding the ownership of inanimate objects, the parties can move on.
More challenging issues arise if the former partners purchase or find a pet during the relationship. After bonding with an animal and treating them as family members or even as their children, it can be jarring for a pet owner to consider that their pet may disappear entirely.
For pet owners who are going to live separately, the right solution to pet ownership may be to create a pet custody agreement, which describes each person's rights and responsibilities for the pet's care. It can resolve disputes about ownership, custody, and financial costs, making it easier for individuals and their pets in the long run.
Pet custody is a relatively new area of law. Courts have begun recognizing that pets are a different property and are considering pet custody questions similar to child custody. The following are the critical points to consider while drafting a pet custody agreement.
Review the completed agreement to ensure that all relevant points have been included. It is essential to explicitly state all expectations and terms in the document to avoid misunderstandings.
Once the agreement is drafted, the parties must sign two copies, one for each partner. At the end of the pet custody agreement term, both parties can revisit its provisions and consider its renewal requirements.
Depending on the nature of its terms, decide to have your agreement witnessed or notarized. This can limit later challenges to the validity of a party's signature.
If your agreement involves significant risks and complex terms, contact an attorney to help draft a document that meets your requirements.
This identifies the document as a pet custody agreement. Provide the names of the parties in capital letters. You may also identify each party by a "shortened name," which can be someone's first or last name or initials.
This section offers vital information about the parties. Describe your relationship, including information about the length of time you lived together and the names of the pet(s).
Here, you can describe the custody and visitation schedule of pets. For example,
This outlines the pet custody arrangements the parties can make to distribute the pet care costs. Discuss and agree on the best arrangement for your situation, including any additional payment arrangements.
Specify who will bear the financial costs for each category mentioned.
This section of the pet custody agreement outlines the following:
This provision of the pet agreement allows the pet owners to decide how to divide any income their pets earn.If the pet is showcased in a commercial or wins a pet show, the parties can choose to keep all the money or split it between themselves.If splitting the income, specify the percentage for each party. Mention the person's name if only one co-owner receives all the earnings.
This optional section of the pet's custody agreement prevents the parties from transferring the pets to the pound or a research facility. If the primary owner or the one who has the pet custody can't take care of them anymore, they must notify the other so that they can either take primary custody, avail of pet daycare facilities, or help find a new home.
This section explains the options to cover significant medical decisions about pets. For example,
Relevant information: This subsection mentions that both parties promise to keep each other informed of relevant information about the pets.
Access to records: This subsection mentions that both parties have access to pet records and information.
Schedule consultation: This subsection states that the parties must communicate with each other about activities that could interfere with the other party's visitation schedule.
Return of property: This subsection mentions that anything sent to the other party with a pet, such as toys or food, must be returned with the pet.
Contact information: This subsection indicates that if either party moves or changes their contact information, they must inform the other party of the changes.
Other: This optional section provides the pet owners with the opportunity to include any extra requirements that are specific to their arrangement.
This section details the parties' promises under the agreement. Each party agrees to enter into the arrangement based on the conditions in this section (e.g., each can enter the agreement and satisfy its terms).
Choice of law: This section of the agreement allows the parties to select the state law to interpret the terms of the agreement. Typically, this is the state where one or both parties reside or conduct their business. The selected state must have a reasonable connection to the parties or their businesses, and its laws will govern the agreement.
Choice of forum: The forum is the location where the parties' disputes will be resolved. Mention the name of the state where you or the other party can file a lawsuit. This subsection allows the involved parties to file a lawsuit in the country and state mentioned, but it's not mandatory.
Attorneys' fees: This optional subsection states that if the parties must take legal action to resolve disagreements, the losing party will pay the winning party's attorney's fees.
This section states that the only way either party can change any terms is if that change is both (a) in writing and (b) signed by both parties. This provision is necessary to prevent parties from claiming that a conversation or unsigned email changed the terms of the document.
This clause states that regardless of where the parties sign the agreement or how they transmit signatures (via electronic devices such as computers or fax machines), all of the separate pieces will be considered part of the same agreement. This provision is beneficial today, where signing parties are often located in different cities and can't be physically present in the same room. It ensures that business can be conducted efficiently without compromising the validity of the agreement.
This section of the pet custody agreement ensures that the whole agreement remains valid even if a part becomes invalid later. For instance, if a state law prohibits faxed copies of signature pages, it would not make the total custody agreement null and void. Instead, only the references to faxed copies of signature pages would be removed, leaving the rest of the agreement intact.
However, there is an exception to this section. If any crucial part of the pet agreement becomes invalid, the agreement may be terminated. For example, if a law is passed in your state that prohibits pet custody agreements, the purpose of the agreement would be lost. As a result, the agreement is likely to become invalid in such cases.
This section of the pet custody agreement mentions the addresses to which all official or legal correspondence should be delivered. Write the mailing address for both the performer and the purchaser.
This section states that the parties can only waive rights in writing. If the parties want to change the responsibility, they must create a written, signed waiver or amend the pet agreement.
The parties' agreement that the document they're signing is "the agreement" about the issues involved. Unfortunately, while this provision won't prevent a party from arguing that other enforceable promises exist, it will protect you from these claims.
This section of the pet custody agreement explains that the headings at the beginning of each section are meant to organize the document and should not be considered operational parts of the pet custody agreement.
This section of the pet agreement clarifies that it will be effective when the last party has signed and dated it.
This final clause of the pet custody agreement states that even if a party is not explicitly obligated to sign a document or perform a specific action as per the agreement, the other party can request it if necessary to make the agreement effective. It allows the parties to create an agreement that doesn't list every possible action that may be required. However, if an action becomes necessary to make the pet agreement effective, this clause requires both parties to perform that action. It is important to note that this only applies to reasonable actions, and a party will not be required to do anything and everything possible to make the agreement work.
When a relationship ends, the division of joint property is standard. But when that includes animal companions who feel like family members, a fair custody solution can be challenging. A pet custody agreement establishes terms to compromise on animal care, visitation, and other common concerns.
Here's the information you'll need to have handy to complete your pet custody agreement: