There have been cases where judges in New York have had to rule on “custody” for pets, though there is no guiding statute for them to rely on.
It used to be that pets were simply considered property and the equitable distribution of assets would be considered controlling, but since pets are now quasi-children for many couples, their role as emotional supports and companions is becoming more prominent.
If you and your spouse are both interested in retaining your pets, you can develop a shared custody proposal.
If you can’t reach agreement and neither party will relent, then a judge may have to rule.
In that case, expect that the spouse who has footed the majority of the veterinary bills, food costs, and care and maintenance associated with the pet will have the stronger case, but it’s impossible to know ahead of time how a judge might rule on an issue like pet custody.
Call the attorneys at Zelenitz, Shapiro & D’Agostino today at 718-725-9601 to speak to an experienced Brooklyn divorce attorney about your pet custody matter.