New California Law on Pet Custody Determinations in Divorce Proceedings
Historically, family law courts have treated pets as possessions despite the fact that most pet owners view their pets as family members. In most cases, custody (or rather ownership) of the family pet often came down to whomever paid for the initial adoption/purchase fees.
However, effective January 1, 2019 beloved furry family members will no longer be treated in the same manner as an Ikea lamp in divorce proceedings. Now, custody determinations of a pet are essentially based upon the same factors of consideration relied upon in child custody determinations.
Under Family Code Section 2605, courts may now assign sole or joint ownership of a community property pet depending upon the best interest of the pet. In determining the best interest of the pet, a judge would consider factors such as, which party is better suited to fulfill the pet’s basic needs, the bonds each party shares with the pet, and the amount of time each party would be able to spend with the pet.
As avid animal lovers, the experienced family law attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert Nachshin have been advocating for the best interest of pets in pet custody determinations well before legislature even allowed for it. We also have a great deal of experience in negotiating and drafting shared pet custody agreements. Call the Law Offices of Robert Nachshin at (310)478-4600 so that we can advocate for the best interest of your family pet and make sure they remain in your loving care.