Providing legal services to the people and businesses of Brentwood since 1850

What is a Pet-Nup? Do I need one?


29th March 2021 | landon_admin

In 2014, The Charity, Blue Cross, partnered with divorce lawyers Lloyd Platt & Company in an attempt to stop the numbers of pets getting caught up in marital disputes around the country from increasing as well as to lessen the stress and heartache for owners and pets alike.

The current laws of England and Wales regard pets as ‘personal possessions’ or ‘chattels’, similar to a piece of furniture or a car.

Many couples put agreements such as Pre-Nups and Post-Nups in place to protect their assets should their relationship come to an end, however, they do not think to plan for their cherished pets’ futures.

Therefore, the Pet-Nup was created.

Blue Cross have created a free Pet-Nup document that can be downloaded from their website (https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-nup#download) setting out the rights of ownership and ongoing pet care in the event of a separation or divorce.

Nuptial agreements are not legally binding under the current laws of England and Wales; however, they are likely to be upheld by the courts if they are drawn up properly and meet the required safeguards such as each party receiving independent legal advice and having the intention to be legally bound by the terms.

Our family team at Landons are active members of Resolution and would be happy to discuss any enquires surrounding Pet-Nups. We are currently offering our free 30 minute consultations by appointment in our “COVID secure” office, telephone or Zoom video call. Please contact us to schedule an appointment. 

Blue Cross research has shown that: –

  • Four pets are taken in by Blue Cross every week following relationship breakdowns
  • Dogs and cats are the most fought over pets, followed by horses, rabbits and guinea pigs
  • 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
  • For those who couldn’t decide who should keep the pet, 15% decided to give them to a family friend, 12% to family members and 6% to pet charities such as Blue Cross