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Pets Under The Family Code

Pet Custody Attorney Ventura

Many married couples facing divorce don’t have children. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t have something precious in their lives that they both love. Whether it’s a cat, a dog or some other exotic animal, companion animals can be very important factors in modern divorces.

Some couples even bring companion animals into their family in lieu of having children. The bond that they share with those animals can be very important and even part of their self identity. Thankfully, the state of California is now recognizing the importance of these animals to the people who live with them.

As of Jan. 1, 2019, the state of California is now taking a much more progressive stance on what happens with animals in a divorce.

Pets Used to Be Considered Possessions

The previous policy for handling companion animals in a divorce was far less enlightened than the modern law. California judges used to have to treat dogs, cats and other pets as simple possessions. They could not entertain the idea of shared custody. Instead, they would allocate the possession of the animal to one of the two people divorcing.This led to a lot of heartache and some contentious divorce battles over who would get to keep a beloved animal. Some people felt like they had to take drastic measures to retain a relationship with an animal they loved, such as offering spousal support in exchange for access to pets. Other couples tried going to mediation just for the sake of the animal.

With this new pet custody law, couples can now feel confident that the courts will take a more reasonable approach to handling the animals that are part of the family.

Pet Custody Law in California

Now that judges have the ability to view pets as something other than a possession, they can handle the process of allocating time with the animal differently. They should be focusing on what is best for the dog in question, just like they would for children in a child custody dispute.

In some cases, what is best for the animal might be regular visits with both of its former owners. What’s best could also include shared or split custody, with owners alternating weeks with the animal. In some cases, when one spouse travels extensively for work or simply doesn’t have a positive relationship with the animal, judges may still choose to allocate ownership of the animal to only one person.

Understanding the new laws about handling pets in divorce is critical if you hope to retain ownership of a beloved companion animal when you end your marriage. The better you understand the law and your rights under it, the better you can strategize for handling issues in your divorce.

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We are a close-knit unit dedicated to assisting our clients, focused on delivering high-quality legal services.

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We use a variety of tools in solving our clients' individual needs, advising, negotiating and litigating cases as needed to reach our clients' goals.

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Helping the afflicted and the oppressed obtain just, equitable results is the cornerstone of our legal practice.

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Ms. Hartley and her team are outstanding They are veryprofessional and communicate well. Ms. Hartley is intelligent, caring attentive, and assertive. She handled my case better than I could have asked for. I have had to hire her to represent me twice and will only go to her for any of my custody issues. She is the best family law attorney, I am so thankful I was referred to her!

Ildi R.
Camarillo, CA

I absolutely cannot be any happier with this firm. They are worth every penny. They are fully Invested in what they do and make you feel like you are their priority. They have a very friendly staff and are very welcoming the moment you walk in. They work with you on payments and are very understanding to your needs. They are always on top of everything and have always got the job done for me. I definitely recommend their services!

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Oxnard, CA

I am a client of Carla Harley and I have nothing but great things to say about this woman. She would rearrange her schedule so we could meet always told me exactly what i needed to do, and helped me keep a level head as I went through my divorce. She works quickly, efficiently, and thoroughly could not of gotten through my divorce without her and her great staff if you need a trustworthy lawyers then look no further

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Bakersfield, CA

Hartley Lamas representing me in my divorce process. I was referred by a colleague who she represented in the past and was very impressed with her professionalism. I can say that I now share the same experience with my colleague. It was my first time seeking legal counsel but Carla was very personable and hold my hands with the right advice. I expressed to her what I wanted and she explained the process to me at great length. Yes, divorce...

Mackenson M.
Bakersfield, CA

Case closed! Carla Hartley and her firm are a true blessing to family law. Carla and her team since the very beginning approached my case diligently and swiftly. This was my second time having to hire a family law attorney and the first attorney left me wondering if they could have tried harder. This was never a concern of mine during or after working with Carla Hartley and her firm. It was refreshing to feel as if it wasn't just...

Brock W.
Thousand Oaks, CA
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