Starting the divorce can leave couples with a lot of questions about who will take what property. This concern may be extremely worrisome in the context of animals. People who own horses often tend to love them like family, but working out who will get a horse is a question of property rights and not custody rights.
Not all property is subject to division when married couples get a divorce in Georgia. The question of who gets to keep a horse may hinge on whether the horse is separate or marital property.
When did a couple get a horse?
Property that people own before entering into a marriage typically remains theirs. If a person acquired a horse before marriage, he or she will likely get to keep it.
Was a horse a gift?
For the most part, gifts are separate property that courts do not divide in divorce proceedings. If one spouse received a horse as a gift, he or she is that spouse’s separate property.
Who can provide care?
A court will consider the logistical factors involved in caring for a horse. A horse who lives on a couple’s property may need to stay there unless there is a financially feasible and geographically practical alternative.
If a horse is a source of income for a married couple because of breeding or competition, there may be some additional analyses in determining who has an ownership interest in a horse’s value as a marital asset. Ultimately, spouses should try to reach a mutual agreement about who will care for an animal.