Newport Beach Attorneys Helping with Securing Your Pet’s Rights
Early in 2019, California passed new laws regarding the rights of pets in divorce cases. More specifically, the laws focused on treating pets as not just animals, but property.
California is a common property state, which means that in a divorce, both parties are entitled to exactly half of the pet. How they “share” the pet is left to them. The new law is called Family Law Code Section 2605.
This states that “the court, at the request of a party to proceedings for dissolution of marriage or for legal separation of the parties, may enter an order, prior to the final determination of ownership of a pet animal, to require a party to care for the pet animal.”
Basically, the law implies that upon the dissolution of a marriage of legal union, both parties are entitled to joint or sole custody of the pet(s) in question. One party may also have to care for the animal during the divorce proceedings.
While the law is still new, it’s proving its popularity, as divorce cases have increasingly contained a request for joint or sole custody of pets. Therefore, ex-partners who are interested in keeping their pets can file for custody during the divorce proceedings.
What Does This Mean for You?
Do you have a favorite pet in your marital union? Is your ex-partner or spouse threatening to take them away from you? If yes, you’re in luck. The state of California clearly states that you can file for custody of your favorite pet.
Unlike in the past where judges have been known to tell warring parties to sell the dog and split the proceeds, you don’t have to do that anymore. You can actually walk away from a divorce case with your favorite animal in the world.
The courts realize the importance of pets in helping people heal after a divorce, and are often willing to grant the request based on the animal’s well-being. However, petitioners would need to ensure that they can care for the pets before filing this request.
This is because the courts will award custody based on the following factors:
- Availability to walk the animal
- Availability to get the animal medical care if necessary
- Commitment to feeding the animal
- Willingness to play with and entertain the animal
As you can see, the courts are clearly particular about keeping pets in good health. You’ll need to assure the courts that you can do all these before the courts will grant either a joint or sole custody.
If it’s sole custody, then there’ll be the need for visitation rights for the non-custodial party. If it’s joint, both parties will have to come up with an arrangement that works.
Why Hire a Pet Custody Lawyer in Newport Beach, CA?
While this law is clearly in its infancy, it’s nothing to joke with. You’ll need a competent pet custody lawyer in Newport Beach to help secure your favorite furry friend. At Sarieh Law Offices, our family lawyers are very experienced at handling custody cases. This is no different.
We understand the place of having your favorite pet be there with you as you move on with your life after a divorce or legal separation. This is why we’re willing to go to bat for you. Call us today on for more information or a 30-minute free case evaluation.