For many pet owners living in Florida, a couple going to court over custody of a dog may not be particularly surprising. Many individuals consider their pets to a be a member of their family. As a result of two women’s attachment to their 2-year-old pet dog, the New York couple is litigating who will end up with the canine.
While laws still consider pets to be items to be handled in property division, a number of judges, including the one who is overseeing this case, have begun to look at pet custody cases in a manner similar to child custody suits. Judges now frequently determine who will keep a pet based on what is best for the animal in question. The basis for this determination may rest on who is best able to financially support the pet and who spends the most time with it.
The judge presiding over the case, who owns a 12-year-old rescue dog, has stated that he believes that if the court system can find time to weigh in on who keeps a vacation home or an automobile, there is no reason that pet custody should not also be handled. At the time of the report, a date had not yet been set for the hearing.
Even seemingly amicable divorces can turn contentious when a couple splitting up cannot come to an agreement on who will keep a valued asset or maintain custody of a child or pet. Having legal counsel may enable people to better understand their position, what rights they have and what is involved in determining who will be able to retain which possessions.
Source: New York Post, “Landmark custody battle over dog in divorce,” Julia Marsh, Dec. 4, 2013
Source: Fox News, “Divorcing NYC women fighting landmark custody battle over dog“, December 05, 2013