Dogs are considered property in the State of New York. Therefore, in a divorce case one cannot obtain custody of a dog. There can be no custody hearings regarding who gets the dog. However, a hearing can be had in a divorce proceeding as to who is entitled to the property ownership of a dog.
The Ownership Of The Dog Is A Property Issue
Who gets the dog in a divorce is tied into other issues involving the division of the marital property. The relationship between an individual and the dog is not taken into consideration with regard to a division of property rights related to the dog. The court will not consider who was the primary person involved in taking care of the dog or who the dog likes better.
The courts in New York will also not take into consideration the best interests of the dog. Best interest standards only apply to custody issues and parenting time regarding children. Unfortunately for dogs they are not in the same category of children. Who gets the dog is somewhat different then who obtains the dinette set, the bedroom furniture and other items of household property, because the dog is alive. The law seems to be moving slightly in that direction in the State of New York. However, for the time being dogs are still just property.
Some Help For Dog Lovers
Dog lovers strongly feel that the court should pay attention to who has been taking care of the dog and the dog’s health an well being. Although the law in the State of New York has moved a bit in this direction, for now dogs are still just property.
Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is a divorce lawyer representing men and women throughout the Metropolitan New York area. He can be reached at Elliot@sdnylaw.com or 800-344-6431.