Breaking up is hard and even harder if you've got a pet between you. We think of custody issues as reserved for couples with kids, but pets can be part of the family—whether it's a dog, cat, or a pet pig. Sometimes breakups can be civil, and pet arrangements can be made accordingly.
But when some couples break up, a clean slate is needed—you can't still be sharing a pet.
If you break up with someone, who gets the pet?
Make a pet prenup
It's often a good idea to settle how you're going to handle the division of pets while you're still in a relationship before you get your pet. Though this may seem like an unnecessary step, getting a pet is a big decision, and one with consequences should a breakup occur. In breakups, pets can often get caught in the middle.
When Ryan Adams and Mandy Moore divorced in 2015, they had major pet custody issues over their eight (!) pets. In the divorce documents, Mandy Moore ended up asking ex-husband Ryan Adams for pet support, who left her with all the animals after the divorce. Though she loves her pets, TMZ reported that she was seeking pet support along with spousal support from Ryan Adams, as she was making less than a quarter than what he was making per month.
Pet custody is not something silly, and as Moore and Adams demonstrate, is an issue brought up in legal proceedings. Maybe one of you plans to take the pet if a breakup occurs, or you two agree on a joint custody arrangement. Whatever the agreement, when you're getting a pet, it's important to have an arrangement ready in case things between you don't go as planned.
Have your pet's best interests at heart.
At the end of the day, regardless of your relationship and its end, you love your pet. But, it's important to acknowledge what would be best for the pet. Sometimes, that means letting the other person take sole custody. If you travel a lot or work long hours, and your ex is much more equipped with handling the full-time responsibility of the pet, it may be best to show your love by letting go. And if neither of you are going to be good pet parents, it may be a good idea to give the pet up another family member, friend, or somebody else who can care for the pet, so you know the pet is living its best life, even if it's not with you.
The breakup on everybody's mind right now is superstar singer Ariana Grande and SNL comedian Pete Davidson, who recently called it quits after a whirlwind summer engagement. People are wondering what's happening next: with their living arrangements, their tattoos, engagement rings, and, most importantly, their shared pet pig, Piggy Smalls. When considering how to share the pig, some are saying think that perhaps Grande should keep custody, as she owns the only home Piggy Smalls has known (a $16 million apartment, not too shabby). Though Davidson honored the ex-couple's pet piggy with a tattoo, right now, it looks like Grande is keeping custody. In this case, pet owners might consider what is best for the pet, and where the pet can be most comfortable.
Deciding pet custody can be hard. It's best to have everything figured out before you get a pet so that there's not devastating and frustrating outcome if the relationship does take a turn for the end. But if you have the pet's best interests at heart, you can make the best decisions without causing more harm to yourself, your ex, and your pet.