New California Divorce Law is Changing How Courts Treat Pets

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If you’re like us, you probably consider your pet to be a member of the family. For that reason, pets are a frequent subject of contention during divorces. Unfortunately, they can often be used as leverage by partners who may not actually care that much about the pet. In California, however, that may be changing.

Considering a Pet’s Best Interest

California recently enacted a law that alters the guidelines for how divorce court judges should consider pets. Although pets have historically been considered as just another kind of property, the new law encourages judges to think about pets’ best interests when deciding on custody.

Judges will determine which owner has a better claim to custody of their pet based on the level of care they provide and their relationship with the pet, much like they do when considering child custody.

New Strategies for California Divorce Attorneys

Pet custody fights can be prolonged and expensive. According to NBC News, 88 percent of pet custody battles are over dogs, while just 5 percent are over cats and the remaining 6 percent are all other types of animals combined. Depending on how you feel about your animal friend, that may or may not surprise you.

Like so many aspects of divorce, getting fair treatment under this law will hinge on your ability to make a compelling, strategic argument for your case. At the office of Ernest A. Casacca, Attorney at Law, we work with all of our clients to put together well-evidenced representation. Our goal is to protect the things that matter most and secure the most desirable outcome possible in every case.

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