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Law allows judge to determine custody of Fido in "ruff" divorce

At times, there may be no end to the issues that a warring couple can fight about when a marriage ends. Besides the division of marital assets and custody of children, another hot topic for spouses to bark about is who will get the dog. While pets have been viewed as property during divorce proceedings, for many Colorado residents, they are cherished members of their families and should be treated as such.

One state passed a law that became effective in the new year. It gives family court judges the power to decide who should get custody of the pets. Though many divorcing couples are able to arrive at their own agreement, for many, deciding such an emotional matter may be beyond their abilities during a contentious split.

There are many California residents who are pleased that family pets will now be treated in a similar fashion as children. Some shared how difficult it was to decide which spouse would retain a beloved pet. There are some who fear that this new requirement will actually slow down the divorce process, as the courts are already overly burdened with cases. The law will allow a judge to examine any evidence that can provide information as to which partner would be more likely to ensure that a companion animal will receive the care and attention it requires for a healthy and happy life.

This law does not apply to service or therapy animals, as they are intended to provide support to a specific individual. There have been a few other states who have passed similar laws, and it is possible that others will eventually follow suit. As many Colorado residents can attest, a divorce can be an emotionally challenging time. Those who are facing this process may be best served by seeking the assistance of a well-seasoned attorney who can guide them through the best settlement terms according to their unique needs.

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