A ‘pup-nup’ could help you decide who keeps the dog during divorce

Reporter: Taylor Smith Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Marsha, the dog. Credit: WINK News.

You’ve probably heard of a prenup, but what about a “pup-nup?” It’s a trend growing in popularity in case marriages go south.

People love their animals and want to make sure their beloved pet stays with them. We spoke to a divorce attorney about how this works.

Divorce attorney Rebecca Zung says a “pup-nup” basically works the same way a prenuptial agreement works and could help solve people’s fears about losing their pet in a divorce.

“Who’s going to get the pets when? What is the arrangement regarding expenses? Who is going to take them to the vet?” Zung said.

It helps answer the tough questions to make it easier if there is an end to a marriage.

“Anytime you pre-contract for what will happen, it allows you to not have to have as much friction at the end,” Zung said.

Many people we spoke to say their dog is part of their family.

“Take a look at her,” said Ed Beren, talking about his beloved pet. “That’s an angel. That’s a goddess from heaven.”

Beren has a special connection with his pup, Marsha.

“My family selected her picture out of 12, and would you believe that the name, I didn’t know the names was the same as my mother,” Beren said.

Beren’s parents were both Holocaust survivors, and Marsha serves as a sweet memory of his mom. He’s not the only one who knows how special it is to have a four-legged child.

“She’s our kid,” Steve Bauer said of his pet.

“Dogs are definitely part of the family,” Andrew Wilson said.

Although many hope they would never have to use a “pup-nup,” they see why it would be useful.

“It’s the one thing you can’t split evenly,” Bauer said. “You can split a car and house and money, but you can’t split the dog.”

There is no doubt pets are an important part of people’s lives.

“It’s like fighting over kids,” Bauer said.

The divorce attorney also said the more specific the agreement is the better it will work. A “pup-nup” can be made before, during or after any type of relationship, not divorce alone.

“It would be a horrible battle,” Sarah Bauer said.

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