It's probably something a lot of Pet Lovers have never even considered, but what happens to your much loved pet in the event that a relationship breaks up?
It's definitely something to consider, especially given that the average relationship in the UK today is 2 years, 9 months, while the average dog lifespan is 10-13 years.
The Blue Cross, an animal re-homing charity, has launched the Blue Cross Pet Nup, the first ever legally-binding pre-nuptial agreement for pet owners. It covers issues such as ownership, responsibilities and rights of a pet in the event of a relationship break up.
A survey of 2,000 pet owners in a relationship, carried out by The Co-operative Legal Services, found 7% (1 in 14) of respondents now have a pet-nup in place.
It also found that "When Brits split it is usually (56%) the wife or girlfriend who keeps the pet, whereas just under a third of men (29%) retain full ownership."
The issue may also be one of awareness: The survey found that many pet owners were unaware that they could put an agreement in place to cover this.
The Blue Cross Pet Nup - or a simpler Deed of Agreement - are free to download from their website, and covers who will take ownership in the event of a divorce or relationship breakdown.
The Bluse Cross have developed a free Pet Nup document, which can be downloaded below and which has been developed in partnership with legal divorce experts. This sets out the right of ownership in the event of a divorce or relationship breakdown and covers ongoing pet care.
Blue Cross stresses that it is important to recognise that there are some parts of the agreement a court will not enforce, "such as lifestyle choices like who takes the dog on holiday or how the cat should be cared for, but deciding these details between you could still help to take the conflict out of a difficult and emotional break-up situation."
The charity has have created two version:
- The full Pet Nup or
- A much simpler Deed of Agreement document that sets out who will take ownership in the event of a break-up, without as much detail.
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