In a recent study, researchers asked participants who they would save if a runaway bus was hurtling out of control towards their dog or another human being, as reported by Psychology Today. The majority of participants chose to save their dog over a “foreign tourist” or a “hometown stranger” both by a wide margin. The participants also chose saving their dog over their “distant cousin,” “best friend,” “grandparent,” and even their “sibling.” We obviously place enormous emotional value in our pets, so why does the court system treat our pets as mere property?
During a divorce, pets are considered either marital or personal property. This means that if one of the spouses owned the pet before marriage, they will get the pet no matter what. If the pet was acquired during marriage, the pet is considered marital property, also called community property here in California. However, this is all about to change thanks to the recent signing of Assembly Bill 2274 by the Governor into law. Starting January 1st, 2019, the court can determine sole or joint custody of pet animals that are community property. If you are going through divorce and have a beloved dog, cat, or other pet and it is vital that your animal ends up with you, it is essential that you contact a San Jose divorce attorney.
What Has This Law Changed?
Under the old law, and currently existing law until the end of this year:...