Many pet owners these days are more likely to think of their dogs, cats, pythons and hamsters as companions, family members, or even soul mates than as mere animals. Yet, as I’ve blogged before , in many states, including New York, companion animals in divorce cases are treated as property. However, a recent landmark ruling by a Manhattan judge may lead to pet custody reform.
Recently a divorcing New York City couple was involved in a custody battle over their beloved dachshund. Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper ordered a hearing to determine who the more dedicated pet parent was, because pets should be treated “more like children than property” in divorce proceedings. According to Judge Cooper, “People who love their dogs almost always love them forever. But with divorce rates at record highs, the same cannot always be said for those who marry.” Ultimately, the couple settled their custody battle outside of the courtroom, but credit was given to the judge for helping bring the settlement about.
Whether children or beloved pets are a part of your divorce equation, there is no substitute for an experienced attorney to find a custody solution that is acceptable to you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse. Call the Law Offices of Mary Grace Condello in Brooklyn at (718) 758-5480 to arrange a private consultation. We will review your situation and as your attorney, provide the legal advice and guidance you need to make informed decisions about all-important child and pet custody issues.
Serving Clients across Brooklyn, Staten Island & Long Island