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Third state passes law that addresses pets in a divorce

The decision to end a marriage is seldom undertaken without careful consideration. Two of the most complicated issues of a divorce revolve around the custody of any children and how to approach property division in a manner that will be most equitable. Colorado families do have laws that help regulate these matters, though not every issue can be decided easily.

One of the more difficult considerations -- besides how children will be raised post-divorce -- may be who will be awarded ownership of the family pets. In the vast majority of the states, pet ownership falls under the rules that guide how property will be divided. However, for many families, pets are considered as part of their family and deserve to be treated in a like manner. A third state recently agreed with that perspective and passed a law that will require judges to treat companion animals as more than a piece of furniture.

The new law will also address how the pet will be cared for throughout the divorce proceedings. Even without the law, many couples have found themselves seeking to work out an ownership agreement that mirrors one that is drafted for the care of children. Though many applaud the new California law, which takes effect in 2019, there are some groups who do not support the measure.

One organization does not support the new law, as it says that it will add to the complexity of a divorce where there is already a high level of conflict. Animal welfare societies hope it will lead to a reduction in the homeless animal population. Colorado residents who are concerned about any aspect of how their divorce will effect them and their families may seek the advice of a compassionate family law attorney who can help draft a settlement agreement that will best fit their circumstances.

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