For many families, pets are not simply a piece of property to be divided along with the flat-screen TV and the refrigerator. Many couples consider a dog a part of the family and treat their animal as such. In the past, most courts have determined that pets are property, and can be divided just like all other property. In California, which is a community property state, the court can award the dog as a monetary value and will divide the pet custody in a way that is financially fair.
The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers recently surveyed divorce attorneys throughout the United States and discovered a significant increase in the number of pet custody cases which are making their way through the legal system. Because of the rise in popularity of pet custody cases, some judges are starting to change the way that they handle these situations. Instead of viewing pets solely as property, some judges as starting to consider visitation awards or shared custody plans for individuals who are very close to their pets.
In the recent past, some individuals have even advocated for pet support payments so that they could best care for their animals. According to The Huffington Post, some courts will now look at whether or not divorcees have flexible work schedules or have access to a person who can care for the pet while you are at work. Also, courts will look at whether either spouse has been labeled as abusive, or has failed to care for the pet's needs.
Courts may also consider which spouse has the children, and whether those children are attached to that pet. If they are, the courts may deem it in the children's best interest to allow the dog to remain with them.
If you want more information about dog disputes or would like to fight for pet custody, then contact an attorney at the firm right away. With the right Los Angeles family lawyer on your side you will be able to work towards the custody of your beloved pet.