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Animal lovers opt for "Pre-Pup" agreements

11th December 2014

Almost one in three animal loving couples fear their pets could become tug of love victims if they split up, according to new research issued today (10th December, 2014) by The Co-operative Insurance.

Seven per cent of UK couples have set up a legally binding pre-nup agreement, also known as a ‘Pre-pup’, in order to prevent a furry custody battle and ensure that if their relationship was to breakdown, clear guardianship arrangements would determine who would gain custody of the pet(s).

Further to this, almost a third (31 per cent) of UK couples either have or would consider putting an agreement in place in case their relationship ends. According to the research, 18-24 year-olds are more likely to put an agreement in place, with 38% of 18-24 year-olds doing so. In comparison to only 11% of adults aged 55 and above.

Interestingly, although almost 40% (39 per cent) of couples surveyed jointly own the pet(s), with their partner, 44% of women compared to 23% of men say that if the relationship was to break down, they would keep the pet(s). Worryingly, almost 40% (38%) of UK adults admit that they have no idea what would happen to their furry companion if they separated from their partner.

Andrew Nevitt, Product Manager for The Co-operative Pet Insurance said: “Many people consider their pet to be part of the family and the risk of losing their companionship can make the pain of a relationship break up even harder to bear. Recent research conducted with our partners found that 11% of rescue homes say that owners being unable to cope with a relationship split was a key trigger behind dog abandonment. It’s reassuring therefore to see owners adopting a responsible approach to pet ownership by ensuring that if their own circumstances change, their pet will continue to get the best possible care”

Jenny Beck, Head of Family Law at The Co-operative Legal Services, said: “The breakdown of a relationship can be extremely difficult and can cause stress for all parties involved. Having a living together agreement in place between you and your partner which among decisions such as assets and payment of bills can include who would gain custody of a pet in the event that you did separate can ease the burden at a very upsetting and stressful time.”