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New bill will provide pets with additional privileges in divorce

When it comes to pets, many couples may consider their dogs or cats as members of the family. Should a couple make the decision to divorce, reaching a decision on who gets custody of the family pet can be a highly-debatable matter. A new law in California that will take effect at the beginning of next year will reportedly give the court the authority to make decisions concerning the custody of pets based on a variety of factors.

Under current law in California, pets are treated as property and the custody of the family pet is generally awarded to the party who purchased the pet. If both parties own the pet, and they cannot reach an agreement concerning custody, a couple may in some cases be forced to give the pet over to the custody of a local shelter. Some couples may even choose to address similar circumstances prior to marriage by signing an agreement concerning what will happen should they ever decide to part ways.

A new bill that was recently signed into law will reportedly give pets many of the same privileges as children during divorce proceedings. Under the new law, courts will consider a variety of factors when determining which party is best suited for providing for the needs of the pet. However, as many individuals may already treat their pets as their children, similar topics may still be highly-contested.

Many individuals place a high priority on protecting the well-being of their pets. When facing divorce, pet owners in California could benefit from speaking with a family law attorney early on for guidance on what to expect from the process. An attorney can help a client gain a better understanding of the laws surrounding custody of pets and assist him or her in pursuing the most favorable outcome achievable during divorce proceedings.

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