Shared Pet Custody: Understanding How It Works in Practice – Vida de Bicho

Pets can miss absent guardians and pretend by changing behavior (Photo: Pixabay/Amit Karkare/CreativeCommons)

Animals can miss their absent owners and pretend by changing behavior (Photo: Pixabay/Amit Karkare/CreativeCommons)

Bruna Marquezine, Enzo Cellulari, Luisa Sonza, and Wenderson Nunes are examples of former celebrity couples who have already resorted to shared pet care to keep in touch with the pets they decided to adopt together. However, whoever thinks this practice is confined to the celebrity world is wrong, sharing pet custody is increasingly common!

journalist Augusto Pegeni, 34, for example, shares custody of his ex-wife of four years with 6-year-old Matt Caramel Chubb. For him, this was the best option for everyone involved.

“Chopp was abandoned in a cardboard box in front of my ex-wife’s family farm, in the interior of São Paulo. It was a rainy day and we felt very sorry for him. So we took him and fed him and decided to bring him to the capital to take him to the vet. The idea was to take care of him and find Home Later Augusto remembers that he never left.

The journalist says that when their 14-year relationship ended, neither of them thought about giving up the animal. “We’re both very attached to Chopp. We didn’t even consider him staying in one condo. We’d already heard about joint pet custody and decided, in conversations about divorce, that it would be the best solution. But, as we don’t know tomorrow, we put this in a document, in a contract.” , that would be in effect before the courts, if necessary. It hasn’t been the case yet, our agreement is working very well and Chopp is fine with the scheme. She’s staying with each one for 15 days,” he explains.

Good for teachers and good for pets

For the vet Valesca RodriguezProfessor of Veterinary Medicine Course at the University of Franca (UNIFRAN), Shared nursery is a good choice for both teachers and pets.

“It is very common for pets to lose absent teachers, either temporarily or even due to death. In general, they change their behavior: they become calmer, eat less, vocalize (bark and muse). In more serious cases, there are even records of mutilation, when They remove their hair, they lick their hands,” he warns.

It also indicates that the solutions are different in the case of the loss of the guardian due to death or in the case of the separated spouses. “To compensate for the absence of a loved one, there are nowadays day care centers or recreational areas, where the animal can spend its day, with activities targeting the species. In cases of house separation, references to visits, or even shared nursery may be an option,” he explains.

However, I have noticed that it is necessary to pay attention to the animal’s routine in order for everything to work. “We must emphasize responsibility for health care, food and medicine, because in addition to our joys, we have duties with our pets. It is important to respect the animals’ routine to avoid stress and other health problems. During the process of adaptation, it is useful to provide things that the animal loves, such as toys and beds, So that he feels safe in the place. Moreover, it is necessary to monitor possible deviations in behavior ”, instructs the professional.

What is the opinion of the law?

Lawyer Mariana Montero de CastroDiniz & Castro Advocacia e Consultoria Jurídica, partner at Diniz & Castro Advocacia Jurídica, explains that, to date, there is no specific law dealing with pet custody, although bills related to this topic are being addressed in both the House and Senate.

“For many years, animals were called“ immovable assets ”, that is, “with things ”- under the provisions of the Civil Code. It so happened that in 2019, the possibility of their recognition as persons with rights was introduced in a bill of the Commission on Environment and Sustainable Development. However, according to a survey conducted by IBGE, there are actually more dogs and cats in Brazilian homes than children. Thus, the legal system cannot underestimate the importance of the relationship between a human and an accompanying animal. According to Statement No. 11 of the Brazilian Institute of Family Law, ” In a proceeding aimed at the dissolution of a marriage or stable union, the judge may discipline the joint custody of the couple’s pet.” Thus, for the time being, it is possible for spouses in the process of divorce or the dissolution of a stable union to share custody of the animals that are part of the family environment, so that Both can live with them,” says the professional.

Although there is such a possibility, Mariana states that the lack of legislation on the subject means that when cases reach justice, judges rule according to their own notions. Thus, it suggests that the ideal is for the ex-spouse to try to come to an agreement on this issue.

“In principle, the ideal is for the parties to reach a consensus regarding accommodation, vet visits, apportionment of expenses, food, and treatment, as well as regarding the possibility of crossing and selling offspring, among many other decisions about the routine of these animals,” he explains.

Augusto shares Chubb's covenant with his ex-wife of four years (Image: Personal Archive)

Augusto shares Chub’s custody with his ex-wife for four years (Image: Personal Archive/Augusto Bijni)


When the dismissal is amicable, a contract signed in a notary’s office is an option. Notary Fernando BlascoDirector of the Documentation College of Brazil – Department of São Paulo, explains how to do it.

“If the spouses agree to dissolve the pet’s guardianship, they should go to a notary, explain the situation, and take note of how the custody will be, if it is one-sided or joint. As appropriate, check if someone can help you estimate the costs …everything will be put into a deed identifying the animal, to establish the rules of custody. The two will leave the registry office with the document, a document with enforceable force, to be respected by both.”


At the beginning of May, the Supreme Court of Justice (STJ) began Chapter Three adjudication in a canine alimony case after a separation. However, the trial was suspended at the request of Minister Marco Aurelio Pelez.

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