Pet custody in divorce can be a contentious issue, as pets are often considered family members by their owners. When a couple with a pet gets divorced, they may not agree on who should keep the pet, leading to disputes over pet custody. Fortunately, California started to recognize that pets have a special place in families and have begun to consider the well-being of the pet when making custody decisions.
In these cases, courts may take into account factors such as who primarily takes care of the pet, who has a stronger emotional bond with the pet, and who is better equipped to provide for the pet’s needs. In situations where the divorcing couple can’t come to an agreement on pet custody, they may choose to negotiate a pet custody arrangement outside of court through mediation or arbitration. This can allow them to create a personalized agreement that takes into account the best interests of the pet. It’s important for divorcing couples to consider the well-being of their pet and work toward a solution that is in the best interest of the animal. Seeking the advice of a family law attorney who has experience with pet custody issues can be beneficial in navigating this complex aspect of divorce.
California Family Code Section 2605 provides
(a) The court, at the request of a party to proceedings for dissolution of marriage or for legal separation of the parties, may enter an order, prior to the final determination of ownership of a pet animal, to require a party to care for the pet animal. The existence of an order providing for the care of a pet animal during the course of proceedings for dissolution of marriage or for legal separation of the parties shall not have any impact on the court’s final determination of ownership of the pet animal.
(b) Notwithstanding any other law, including, but not limited to, Section 2550, the court, at the request of a party to proceedings for dissolution of marriage or for legal separation of the parties, may assign sole or joint ownership of a pet animal taking into consideration the care of the pet animal.
(c) For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:
(1) “Care” includes, but is not limited to, the prevention of acts of harm or cruelty, as described in Section 597 of the Penal Code, and the provision of food, water, veterinary care, and safe and protected shelter.
(2) “Pet animal” means any animal that is community property and kept as a household pet.
Contact http://www.familylaw-firm.com regarding custody of your pet upon a divorce.