In most states across the country, who gets the family pets in a divorce comes down to the state's property division laws, as pets are still considered the same as livestock for the purposes of the court. Singer/actress Mandy Moore and her estranged husband Ryan Adams are finding this out first hand as they continue to work through their divorce.
According to reports, the couple filed for divorce in January of this year, but proceedings have stalled over disagreements between who will take care of their eight pets and spousal support. Moore has filed documents stating that she has been taking full care of all of the animals, which include two dogs and six cats, despite Adams' promise to take custody of at least two of the cats.
Also part of the proceedings is the question of spousal support. Although Moore may be more well known for her film and music work, she claims that she is currently making less than a quarter of what her soon-to-be ex-husband brings in with his music career. Some reports have also stated that Moore is asking for additional spousal support to help cover the costs of caring for the pets, and she claims that caring for the animals has caused her to miss out on certain work — and therefore income — opportunities.
While it remains to be seen whether the family courts will grant Moore's request for spousal support or how the custody of the pets will be divided, this case shows how complicated divorces can be even between those who do not have any children together. Property division is a crucial aspect of divorce, and it's important to have solid legal counsel to help you understand how to protect your financial interests.
Source: US Weekly, "Mandy Moore Asks Ryan Adams for Pet Support for Their Eight Animals in Divorce Documents: Details," Rachel McRady, Dec. 11, 2015