Some people make it well into adulthood thinking that the world revolves around them, but divorce provides a reality check. No matter how much you love your family pet, the divorce court considers it just another item of property. If you doubt that children and pets belong to two different legal categories, consider that the court orders a parenting plan for all minor children whose parents are not married to each other (regardless of whether the parents divorce or simply break up without having been legally married). Still, it will not do this for pets. If you adopted a puppy together while dating, you can specify in the prenup who gets to keep him if you divorce. 

According to the Amicable Divorce Network website, dog people are more likely to fight over their pets in divorce court than cat people are, but the court does not care what species your pet is. You and your spouse are free to agree to a division of pets or even to a puppy parenting plan in a marital settlement agreement, but the court does not want to decide who keeps the pets.

Jon and Kate Gosselin

The only reason that Jon and Kate are celebrities is that they have eight children, but their family, which the public got to see on the reality show Jon and Kate Plus Eight, also included two German shepherds named Shoka and Nala. Jon and Kate’s child custody arrangement was different from that of most families in that Jon ended up as the primary residential parent of two of the children, while the other six remained with Kate. As for the dogs, the parties were never able to agree on who should keep them, and Jon returned them to the breeder in 2009.

Drew Barrymore and Tom Green

Drew Barrymore and Tom Green were married for less than a year, although they had dated for several years before getting married. Before they moved in together, Barrymore adopted a yellow Labrador retriever named Flossie. In 1998, a fire started in Barrymore and Green’s house while they were asleep, and Flossie woke them up, enabling everyone to get out safely. When Barrymore and Green’s divorce became final in 2002, the court awarded possession of Flossie to Barrymore, and they stayed together until Flossie’s death in 2010.

Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton

One thing that Lambert and Shelton have in common is that they love animals; Lambert and her mother even founded an animal rescue foundation before she married Shelton. During their four years of marriage, they adopted a menagerie that included dogs, horses, and possibly also other species of animals. When they divorced in 2015, each former spouse kept some of the animals they had adopted during the marriage. In the case of animals that had been bought as gifts from one spouse to the other, the recipient spouse was the one to keep the animal.