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How Does California Family Law Affect Pets in a Divorce Here in San Diego?

On Behalf of | Jun 8, 2021 | Firm News

How does California family law affect pets in a divorce here in San Diego?  Pets are obviously beloved members of the family.  What is to become of the family dog, cat, bird, snakes, ferret or pet after the divorce?

Until recent years pets in California were unfortunately considered more like community property.  Under recent changes to California family law pets are still considered to be “community property” but the judge will have full discretion to weigh all factors associated with your pets.

How will California family law affect pets in a divorce?  How will time be allocated with each pet?  Who is responsible for the costs of caring for the pet, feeding and veterinary expenses?  In other words, the judge will in all likelihood resolve these questions with an agreement which could look a lot like a shared parenting agreement.

In some cases, the pet may accompany the child(ren) as they move between households after the divorce as part of a shared child custody and parenting plan.

In cases where there are no children many observers believe the Court will consider either a shared pet visitation (much like child visitation), order the sale of the pet (dividing the proceeds between the parties) or an order for one party buy out the interest of the other.

“How will recent changes to California family law affect pets in a divorce in Carlsbad?”  In recent cases the model of using the same process to resolve a pet dispute as the Judge would in a child custody dispute and similar results in mediation have resulted in many local divorces.

This is another reason why it is so important to work with the experienced and proven divorce and family law attorneys at Burke & Domercq.  Our partners each have decades of experience in Carlsbad divorce cases.  We love our own pets and understand the importance of resolving disputes surrounding our furry companions as part of any effective divorce resolution.

If you are concerned about a pet in a divorce and other substantial divorce related challenges we invite you to protect your own interests and contact us or call 760-389-3927 to schedule an appointment for a remote or socially distanced consultation with one of our experienced Certified Family Law Specialists.