We get a lot of questions regarding pets in a Carlsbad divorce and how Carlsbad Family Law Courts handle beloved dogs, cats, snakes, etc. If you have a beloved family pet how will it be handled during a divorce? Is there such thing as “pet support?” Will this simply create something new for people to argue over?
As of January 1, 2019 California law provides our Family Law Courts the same authority to resolve questions regarding pets in a Carlsbad divorce much the same as child custody and parenting time issues are managed. The parties may either reach an agreement as to how visitation with the pets will be managed or they can ask the Judge to decide. The change in our laws provides your beloved pet with more standing within the court than simple “property.”
Prior to the new law, pets were simply considered to be community property. Community property is to be divided equally between the parties and that pretty much resulted in the award of the pet to one party or the other. You can’t and shouldn’t divide a pet. You can divide the time shared with a pet, or agree to have one pet go with party “A” and the other to go with party “B.”
A popular idea is to have the pets maintain the same schedule as the children. The idea is the children will always enjoy the comfort, support and love of the pets as they move between homes. There continue to be questions regarding an offset in spousal support or child support if you accept “custody” of a pet. There are also genuine expenses associated with veterinary costs, prescriptions, flea and tick medications and even pet insurance.
For most of us, pets are beloved members of the family. If you need assistance resolving questions regarding pets in a Carlsbad divorce we invite you to contact Burke & Domercq or call 760-434-3330 to schedule an appointment. Our Certified Specialists in Family Law will work with you to identify options and ultimately discover the best resolution for your beloved family member(s).