A large number of people may well end up fighting with a former love over who gets to buy the pet food for their beloved four-legged friend.
Recent research by The Co-operative Pet Insurance has found that 20 per cent of separating couples with pets have entered a custody battle over the pet.
One in ten people also revealed that they felt depressed about the situation, while the same amount said they were left "broken hearted".
Lee Mooney, head of pet insurance at The Co-operative Insurance, said: "For many couples, the family pet is treated as an additional member of the family and as such custody battles are now starting to mirror the ones that couples go through when they are deciding custody of their children with lawyers and mediators becoming involved."
He added that if nothing else, the survey reveals how importance pets are to family life.
Findings also showed that half of the 20 per cent of couples who got back together said they did so because of the pet.