Michael Reedy and Maya Younes Advise on Pet Custody in Divorce Proceedings

In their byline article for the Daily Journal titled “Pet Peeves in Your Divorce,” Partner Michael Reedy and Associate Maya Younes look at California’s recent law granting family law judges the authority to decide issues about pets in a divorce. Family courts were given the discretion to decide pet issues, but they are not mandatory. If a judge takes on issues about pets in a divorce, Michael and Maya say, the judge must consider “the care of the pet animal,” which may include feeding, medical care, shelter and safety.

Michael and Maya explain that the new law treats pets more like family members and gives judges the opportunity to assign sole or joint ownership. They explain that dogs are more likely to adapt to changing living situations than cats, and that other pets like fish, snakes and birds may be more difficult to transport between homes. They conclude by encouraging the parties to decide what is best for animals, since courts are not required to decide these issues.

To read the full article, please visit the Daily Journal. (subscription required)