Articles from The Mediator
Trending Now: Who Gets the Dog
New York recently joined other states by passing a law requiring courts to consider a pet’s best interests in deciding who gets them in divorces.
One supporting legislator put it this way: for some, pets are the “equivalent of children and must be granted more consideration by courts to ensure that they will be properly cared for after…divorce”.
In most states, pets are still dealt with as personal property — just like the car or the house. The new laws aim to change this.
Lawmaker who supported the bill noted that custody battles over pets have increased. Their goal was to give courts more direction in deciding these cases and to recognize that for many, pets are part of the family.
Connecticut does not yet have a similar law, so courts here still consider pets as personal property when there is a dispute. To get around this, it has been reported that some couples are creating pet-related prenups, or ‘petnups’ to address this, should the relationship end in divorce.
In addition to New York, Alaska, Illinois and, of course, California have laws on the books to give judges room to consider the best interests of pets in divorces, similar to the way they would consider a child’s best interests.