In previous posts, we have documented occurrences of pet custody disputes when a couple decides to part ways for good. In most courts, pets are looked at as property and it is up to mediation to decide how best to arrange a pet custody agreement.
Even those living under a rock have likely heard the news that "Twilight" stars, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, are no longer Hollywood's hot couple in the face of Stewart's infidelity. While the couple was together for a reported four years, they were never married. So although there is no divorce to finalize, no alimony to negotiate and no property to divide, there is one thing that may bring the couple to court: Bear.
New divorce issues may now include pet custody and protection, in addition to property division and child custody arrangements. In most states, pets have had the legal status of property and have been handled as such during divorce proceedings in the past. Today, however, judges are recognizing the emotional ties people develop while caring for pets. Many will assign custody of the pet to the partner who receives child custody, which favors and acknowledges the emotional attachments of a child to their pet. Many childless couples enter into pet custody agreements, where one person has sole custody or the couple share custody. In some rare cases, a protective order may be necessary to prevent a vindictive or angry ex-spouse from causing harm to a loved pet to hurt their former partner.