Who Will Get the Pets in My Divorce?

Pets have typically been seen as property in divorce cases, but as time goes on, more and more states are moving toward pets being seen as family members. Pets are an integral part of every family, so when you go through a divorce, it can be heartbreaking to know that you could lose your furry friend in the process.

With the help of a divorce lawyer from The Law Office of Laurence J. Brock, we’ll do our best to ensure your pet remains with you after your divorce. Whether you go to mediation or to trial during your divorce, we can handle the legalities of your case and make sure your priorities are considered.

New Laws Treat Pets as People

A pet custody law was recently signed in California which now differentiates pets from other types of property in custody battles. This means when you and your ex-spouse go to mediation or court, the pet’s best interests will be considered in a separate matter aside from children and property.  

When considering the pet’s best interest, various factors will be examined including the following:

  • Who can provide the pet with the best quality of life?
  • Who is the animal’s primary caretaker?
  • Who initially purchased the animal?

The state will generally award custody to whoever is the pet’s legal owner, assuming one person owned the animal first. However, if you and your partner purchased the pet together, other factors will have to be considered.

Joint Ownership

If your family can’t come to an agreement over who gets custody of the animal, a petition for joint ownership of the pet is possible. Joint ownership can be rough on the animal and may not be in the pet’s best interests, so if your family can’t decide on an agreement—similar to a child custody case—the court will decide where the pet ends up.

A Big Step for Pets

Although the logistics of deciding where a pet ends up can be challenging, this new law, which treats pets more like family members than property, is a big step for all involved. Before this law was put in place, custody battles were more difficult because the rules weren’t clear and the animal’s best interests weren’t always taken into consideration.

Now, the law ensures that every pet is put into the best situation possible when it comes to their location, treatment, and attention.

Reach Out to a California Divorce Lawyer

Not knowing where your pet may end up when going through a divorce can be emotionally challenging, but with the help of a California divorce lawyer from The Law Office of Laurence J. Brock, you can rest assured that we’ll fight our hardest to get your pet in your custody. We’ll guide you through the legal process and ensure that your pet remains a priority when decisions are made.

If you’re ready to discuss the details of your custody agreement in further detail, you can contact us today by filling out the form below or by calling 909-466-7661.

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