In British Columbia the law is that pets in family law disputes are considered “chattels”. That means they are considered as just another piece of property to be divided between the parties.
In fact, pets are often considered to be members of the family and parties who are separating often want the arrangements for family pets in family law disputes to be determined by what is best for their pet. Much in the same way parents decide parenting arrangements for their children based on the children’s best interests.
Well, the law may be starting to shift. An article from the Toronto Sun describes a new bill being introduced in Rhode Island that would require judges in family law cases to take the best interests of pets into account when deciding who will get custody of a pet. Read the full article here.
Stay tuned to see if any of these changes carry over to be considered in British Columbia.