When couples are separating, and negotiating who gets what from the joint property pool, pets (most frequently dogs and cats) are often front and centre in the equation. Usually, the parties are able to negotiate an informal, mutually-acceptable agreement as to custody of their four-legged friends. But it’s not always the case. Sometimes formal orders or agreements are needed to lock down precisely who gets Poochie and on what terms. Dedicating court time to determining the custody of cats and dogs may be thought by some to be an inefficient use of valuable resources, but the fact is family pets often have a profound emotional value to their owners, and that just can’t be ignored.