San Diego Pet Custody Lawyer

San Diego Pet Custody Lawyer

Is your spouse attempting to take custody of your cat or dog as part of your divorce proceedings? Then you would be wise to reach out to the San Diego Divorce Lawyers, APC, as soon as you possibly can.

A San Diego pet custody lawyer from our firm may be able to help you keep your beloved furry friend.

Understanding California Pet Custody Law

pet custody

Every year, tens of thousands of married couples in the state of California purchase and rescue animals to keep as pets.

When they welcome these animals into their homes, they wholeheartedly believe that they will live there forever. 

Unfortunately, life does not always go according to plan. If these couples later choose to divorce, they, their lawyers, and the court must figure out where the animal will live moving forward.

For many years, judges in the state of California had no choice but to treat pets like every other possession a couple owned during a divorce. As a consequence, they could only decide to give the animal to one party or the other. It was not possible for them to split custody between the spouses.

Since January of 2019, however, California has been taking a much more holistic approach to the treatment of animals during the divorce process. Courts now have the authority to grant custody of pets to both spouses or hand visitation rights to one party – much like they could in a child custody case. 

Judges in Orange County and San Diego County typically spend a lot of time considering the welfare and wellbeing of the animal before deciding where they ought to live after the divorce. Individuals that have the time and financial resources to take care of the pet’s basic needs usually get primary custody.

Would you like to have a skilled and experienced San Diego family law attorney from the San Diego Divorce Lawyers, APC, assist you with your fight to gain custody of your pet? Then please do not hesitate to give us a call to set up an initial consultation at our law offices in San Diego, CA. Our legal team has been working on cases like yours for years and is ready to battle for you.

Types of Pets Involved in San Diego Divorce Proceedings

When San Diego residents imagine pet custody hearings, they generally assume that the animal in question is a cat or a dog. However, divorcing spouses in Southern California have been known to battle over a variety of different animals, including:

  • Dogs
  • Cats
  • Rabbits
  • Birds
  • Snakes
  • Fish
  • Ferrets
  • Hamsters

Do you need legal representation in your battle to gain custody of your dog, rabbit, or hamster? If so, please pick up the phone and get in touch with our San Diego law firm as soon as possible. We have the experience, knowledge, and skill required to handle even the most complex cases.

How San Diego Residents Can Keep Their Pets After a Divorce

The best way for San Diego residents to ensure that they receive custody of their furry friend after the dissolution of their marriage is to enter into a prenuptial agreement. Contacts of this nature can spell out who will take care of the family pet in the event of a divorce, as well as how the couple will split major expenses – like veterinary bills.

Of course, Californians may only enter into prenuptial agreements before marrying their partner. If you’re already married, you could broach the subject of creating a postnuptial agreement. It’s similar to a prenup, except that it’s executed after the date of marriage.

At the San Diego Divorce Lawyers, APC, we have helped countless San Diegans draft effective prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements over the years. If you would like to have our attorneys do the same for you, all you need to do is give us a call or contact us online.

Useful Evidence in Southern California Pet Custody Cases

As part of the divorce process, both spouses will have the opportunity to present evidentiary materials to the court to show why they should gain primary custody of the family pet. Some of the most compelling items a party can bring forward include:

  • Photographs of them and their pet together
  • A statement from a friend or family member that describes their relationship with their pet
  • An adoption form or bill of sale that lists them as the animal’s owner
  • Proof that they are their pet’s primary caretaker
  • Veterinary records that prove they looked after the pet

If you need more information about the evidence you are likely to require to gain custody of your cat, dog, or hamster, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the San Diego Divorce Lawyers, APC. We are always available to assist our friends and neighbors in the City of San Diego.

How Animal Abuse May Impact a California Pet Custody Case

It is, unfortunately, not at all unusual for one party to a divorce to want to gain custody of a pet because their spouse has a lengthy history of being abusive toward the animal.

In the state of California, if a person can prove that their partner was or is abusive toward their pet, the court is likely to grant them sole or primary custody of the animal. The best way for a spouse to prove animal abuse is to present the judge with evidence like:

  • Video of their partner hitting their pet
  • Witness statements about their partner’s behavior toward their pet
  • Veterinary records that show their pet was the victim of abuse

Do you need help proving that your spouse was abusive toward your pet? Then please contact the San Diego Divorce Lawyers, APC, as soon as possible. We have spent years in the legal industry and are more than ready to give you the assistance you require.

How Long Does it Typically Take to Resolve a Pet Custody Dispute?

When the people of San Diego come to the San Diego Divorce Lawyers, APC, for help battling for custody of their cat or dog, they frequently ask our team how long the process is likely to take. 

The answer to this question can vary significantly from one case to the next. Since courts usually finalize pet custody agreements at the same time as the rest of the divorce, the specific length of the process often depends on factors like:

The more complicated the couple’s financial and personal situation is, the longer it is likely to take to finalize their divorce.

In the state of California, it is extraordinarily rare for a divorce to take less than six months. For most couples, however, the process takes around 12 to 18 months.

Would you like to have our family law attorneys take a look at your situation and let you know how long your divorce is likely to take? Then please give us a call as soon as possible to arrange a meeting at our firm’s headquarters in San Diego. We have tons of experience in the legal field and would be happy to provide you with the info you seek.

How Our Family Law Team Can Help with Your Pet Custody Case

At the San Diego Divorce Lawyers, APC, we have a lengthy history of assisting the residents of San Diego during the most trying moments of their lives. Over the years, our lawyers have helped clients with issues ranging from domestic violence to annulment with professionalism and composure.

When you ask us to help you with your battle to gain custody of your pet, we will:

  • Answer any questions you might have about the legal process
  • Provide you with sound legal advice and guidance as needed
  • Let you know how your pet custody hearing may impact other aspects of your divorce proceedings
  • Devise an effective legal strategy on your behalf
  • Search for evidence that might help your custody claim
  • Handle your case’s sizable paperwork load
  • Represent you in mediation
  • Argue on your behalf in divorce court, if necessary

Are you ready to have a seasoned family law attorney from the San Diego Divorce Lawyers, APC, help you with your pet custody case? If so, please do not hesitate to get in touch and set up an initial consultation at our law offices in San Diego. We have guided clients through situations like yours many times before – so we know what it takes to obtain a favorable result.

Your Trusted Pet Custody Lawyer in San Diego, California

When the residents of San Diego need an attorney to help them fight for custody of their cat, dog, or bird, they know they can always rely on the team at the San Diego Divorce Lawyers, APC. We have the industry know-how and legal skill necessary to handle any case – no matter how complex it might be. If you would like to have our lawyers stand up for you, please give us a call or send us a message online today.