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How Is Pet Custody Determined In New York?

How is Pet Custody Determined in New York?

Pets have become an integral part of modern American families. The joy and companionship they bring into our lives is priceless. They are treated like family members, which is why pet custody has become relevant in divorce cases. Pets are not just assets to be divided; they are living beings with emotions and attachments. This makes the decision on how to divide pet custody a complex one. At our law firm, we understand how important pets are to our clients, and we are dedicated to helping them navigate the process with ease.

Pet Custody Determination in New York

In New York, pets are considered property, but when it comes to determining custody in a divorce case, the court considers their well-being. The court uses a similar approach to determining custody as they do with children. They will focus on what is in the best interests of the pet and who can provide the best care, love, and attention. During a divorce proceeding, some couples will come to an amicable agreement, while others will need the court’s intervention.

Factors That Affect Pet Custody

Several factors can affect pet custodies in divorce cases in New York. The court mainly considers who provided primary care for the pet during marriage. For instance, if one partner is responsible for feeding, grooming, and taking the pet for walks or vet visits, they may be in a better position to retain custody. The court also considers the living conditions of both parties, including their financial ability to care for the pet. The court may also weigh in the pet’s relationship with each party.


It is advisable to have a plan in advance for pet custody in a divorce. You can prepare a written agreement outlining the pet’s care and custody and how the expenses will be shared. You can also provide evidence of your primary care for the pet to make your case stronger in court. It is also imperative to hire an experienced attorney to help you navigate pet-custody laws in New York and improve your chances of retaining custody of your pet.

Alternatives to Court-Ordered

Divorcing couples who want an amicable resolution to pet custody can consider alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation or collaborative divorce. They can work with their attorneys and a neutral third party to come to an agreement regarding pet custody, which they both feel is in the best interest of the pet. These methods are more affordable and less time-consuming than going through court processes.

Pet Custody Attorney

Divorce can be a challenging and emotional time, and deciding how to divide pet custody can add more stress to an already difficult situation. It is important to have an experienced attorney who knows the laws surrounding pet custody in New York to help you navigate the process. At The Mandel Law Firm, we understand the value of pets to our clients, and we work diligently to ensure their well-being through our knowledge of the law. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you with your pet custody case. Call us at (646) 770-3868.

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