by Robert Paul Hudson
When a human relationship ends, the pet gets caught in a tug of war for who gets to keep the pet. Pet custody cases typically are treated as property by the judge who encourages the parties to work it out themselves or get rid of the dog. A lawyer who specializes in animal law will evaluate your case to look for ways to justify the animal would be better off with you. But studies show that during the last 10 years, more judges are looking at the welfare of the animal and more open to looking at and awarding custody.
According to Boston Dog Lawyers , (who takes clients from all over the country)”Unlike divorcing couples who battle over children, there is no simple formula in the courts to determine who should get to keep the pet.
We thoroughly examine the many aspects of caring for and keeping a pet and fight for your right retain ownership. This may be done in court or as part of a settlement negotiation or mediation. “
According to the New York Times, “A survey in 2014 by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reported a 27 percent increase in pet-custody cases over the five previous years, with 20 percent of respondents citing an increase in cases where judges had deemed pets an asset in a divorce.”
If you live in Alaska or Rhode Island, you will have a much better chance of prevailing than anywhere else in the country.
A new law went into affect in Alaska at the first of the year that makes it the first state to enact pet-custody legislation, which allows a court to consider the animal’s well-being.
Charlene Lima, a member of the State House of Representatives in Rhode Island has introduced legislation based on the model from Alaska.