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Calif. divorce courts go to dogs as pets gain custody status

September 28, 2018

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California courts could be going to the dogs — and maybe the cats too — under a new law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The law, signed Thursday, gives judges the discretion of applying rules similar to those in child-custody cases when determining who gets the family pet following a divorce.

It takes effect Jan. 1.

Under current law, pets are considered community property like cars and TV sets.

Deciding who gets to keep them hasn’t been easy when both parties say they love and want them.

Under the new law, pets are still considered community property.

But judges may now consider several factors, including who feeds a family pet, who protects it and plays with it, before ruling on who ultimately gets to keep it.

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