Maryland is poised to become what may be the first state to treat pets of divorcing couples as more than mere property.
Under proposed legislation, the family court would be authorized to establish visitation with a pet just as family courts establish timesharing for children.
The one glaring difference is that the family court would not be authorized to order payment of “pet support” or reimbursement of pet-related expenses by one spouse to the other.
If passed, this proposed legislation would represent a significant advance in the status of pets in divorces.
Currently, although spouses may agree to any arrangement they wish regarding their pets, the law views them as merely personal property to be awarded just the same as any other tangible property, based on fair market value.