New State Law Treats Pets in Divorce Cases a Lot Like Kids

They'll be viewed as family members.

A new law in California treats pets much like children in divorce cases.

The legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown allows judges to decide who gets to keep the animals, The Associated Press reports. The judges will be able to look at who feeds and cares for them, essentially giving the consideration as family members.

The law takes effect at the beginning of next year.

Until now, when disputes over pets have arisen during divorce cases, judges have had to improvise. Some have even "put the dog between the would-be owners and tried to determine who it liked the best," according to AP.

Atousa Saei, a family law attorney, told AP that some judges have even said things along the lines of, "OK, you get the dog a month at a time, a week at a time."
They'll be viewed as family members.
A new law in California treats pets much like children in divorce cases.

The legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown allows judges to decide who gets to keep the animals, The Associated Press reports. The judges will be able to look at who feeds and cares for them, essentially giving the consideration as family members.

The law takes effect at the beginning of next year.

Until now, when disputes over pets have arisen during divorce cases, judges have had to improvise. Some have even "put the dog between the would-be owners and tried to determine who it liked the best," according to AP.

Atousa Saei, a family law attorney, told AP that some judges have even said things along the lines of, "OK, you get the dog a month at a time, a week at a time."

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[JOHN ROGERS, Associated Press.  FILE - In this Feb. 23, 2012, file photo, Steven May, right, walks with his dog, Winnie beside his attorney, David Pisarra, with his dog, Dudley in Santa Monica, Calif. California courts could be going to the dogs, and maybe the cats too, under a new law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown. The law, signed Thursday, Sept. 28, 2018, gives judges the discretion of applying rules similar to those in child-custody cases when determining who gets the family pet following a divorce. It takes effect Jan. 1, 2019. Nick Ut, File AP Photo]

 

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