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California Law along with Pet Custody


Yesterday, I appeared on Inside Edition to discuss the pet custody dispute arising between Kristen Stewart along with Robert Pattinson.  Apparently, This kind of famous Hollywood couple has split, along with the question at This kind of point will be, “Who gets the dog (named Bear)?”

First off, This kind of case could not belong in Family Court.  They were not married (not a divorce case). They had no children together (not a paternity case.).  Thus, if a dispute were to arise, they could need to bring the item in Civil Court.

The ONLY way the item could potentially end up in Family Court will be if one of them filed a domestic violence restraining order against the some other.  Actually, Family Code 6320 will be the ONLY statute I am aware of in which mentions “pet custody” inside limited circumstance of restraining orders.

Family Code section 6320 (b) states, in relevant part, “On a showing of not bad cause, the court may include in a protective order a grant to the petitioner of the exclusive case, possession, or control of any ANIMAL owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by either the Petitioner or Respondent or a minor  child residing inside residence or household of either the petitioner or the respondent.”

ONLY where there will be a showing of not bad cause, in relation to a domestic violence restraining order, can the Court make any orders regarding an animal.

Otherwise, the California courts tend to view animals as property, not as children.  This kind of means in which unlike orders regarding children, the courts need not consider the “best interests” of the pet.  Currently, the law views pets more like a couch than a minor child.  Thus, the courts are unlikely to order “joint custody” of a pet.  Instead of ordering a visitation schedule, or who gets legal custody, the courts will treat the pet as part of an estate which needs to be divvy’ed up.

Obviously, This kind of will be outrageous to all of us pet owners.  Our pets are like our children!  Even if you don’t own a pet, all you need to do will be rent Marley along with Me to understand the soulful connections animal-lovers have with their pets.  They live with us; eat with us; sleep with us; grow up with our children – they become a part of our FAMILY.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund will be an organization which provides a lot of legal advice about animals.  You can garner advice via their article, “What To Do If You Are Involved in a Custody Battle Over Your Companion Animal”.
California Law along with Pet Custody

I Love My Dog.jpg
I Love My Dog.jpg

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