While couples may have considered who’ll be responsible for feeding, walking and bathing their new four-legged companions, what will happen to the family dog in an event of a breakup?
That’s something top 100 UK law firm, Harrison Clark Rickerbys Solicitors has set out to address, as its family law team launches a canine version of the pre-nuptial agreement – the Pup-Nup.
With dog ownership reaching new heights in 2020, as people spend more time at home because of the Coronavirus restrictions, the new Pup-Nup will clearly set out who will look after the family dog if a relationship ends, helping to safeguard the pet’s future.
It specifies where a dog will live, its diet, insurance, health care provisions, holiday arrangements and what would happen if one owner does not carry out their duties of ownership.
Harrison Clark Rickerbys’ family lawyer, Nick Gova, a dog-lover himself, came up with the idea: ‘When deciding who should have the dog when a relationship ends, the English courts treat dogs in the same way they would treat contents and possessions; the assumption could be that the person who paid for the dog should keep it.
‘But dogs are valued members of the family, and disagreements over their care can lead to difficult and lengthy legal proceedings. A Pup-Nup is an effective way to agree on what happens to your dog ahead of any problems; no-one wants their relationship to end but, just like a pre-nuptial agreement, if you can address important issues together early on, you will be better protected in the future.’
For each Pup-Nup agreement, Harrison Clark Rickerbys will also make a donation to Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity.
For more information contact Harrison Clark Rickerbys’ Cheltenham office on (01242) 224422.