By Inna G. Materese | Esquire
Last month, we touched on an issue that is in the minds of many divorcing couples: Who gets custody of the dog? In our December 19th post, we asked you to consider the international custody case surrounding Berryhill Thinkingsman Crumpet. Berryhill is a dog whose owners were litigating how much time he should spend with each owner. As is the case throughout the country, the court in that case noted that pets are property, rather than family, and refused to apportion custodial time to the once-coupled owners.
As of last week, at least one state has taken steps away from treating pets as property and toward recognizing them as part of the family. In an amendment to its divorce statute, Alaska became the very first state to require courts to “take into consideration the well-being of the animal” and to explicitly empower judges to assign joint custody of pets. Read more….