What You Need To Know To Keep Pet Custody In A New York Divorce

Pet custody in NY

In Pennsylvania residents may now buy ‘consumer’ fireworks but won’t be able to utilize them in cars, shoot them into vehicles or at another person.

Californians won’t be able to buy ammunition without working with  an authorized merchant — even if they purchase online and in New York, pets will be treated as children.

The bill, sponsored by Linda Holmes, intends for pets to be cared for like family members, not as property. Under the old law, pets were treated like furniture — divided between former couples as a share of the valuation of their ‘estate’.

Fighting over pet custody has stopped many divorce negotiations. To many people, pets are not merely possessions to be divided. The thought of not being able to see a pet, every day, causes anguish for someone people.

After January 1, 2018, divorcing couples will be required to prove they will be the best pet owner.

Pet custody, called the “who gets Fido” law in Alaska, is one of the hottest subjects in bars where divorce lawyers gather. Until January 1, there was no transparent standard for pet custody cases. It wasn’t until the New York legislature decided pets would be treated like children in custody cases.

A significant difference: in child custody cases the vital factor is what is in the best interest of the children. Instead, when determining ‘pet custody’ judges will use the ‘best for all’ guide.

Effective January 1, New York courts were instructed to consider:

  • How the pet was obtained
  • How the pet was cared for throughout the relationship
  • The agreement between the parties for filling time with a pet after the people split up.
  • If you are going through a breakup and have a dog, cat or some other family pet, please contact us or call us xxx-xxx-xxx xxx to discuss your legal rights.

When a judge considers pet ‘time-sharing’, the judge also reflects on the presence of children. Once children are involved the pet usually — almost always — remains in the home where the children will be. Divorce can be traumatic enough, but to also lose a pet can be an additional blow to kids.

One Last Word

Sometimes you have to wonder why Pennsylvania had to introduce laws about fireworks and cars. Has that been a problem in The Keystone State?

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