Pet animals may be subject to joint custody in cases of separation of the couple and in cases of divorce. This is established by the recent decision of the Court of First Instance number 9 of Valladolid dated May 27, 2019 on the custody of the dog ‘Cachas’, the first court ruling that estimates the joint custody of animals in case of separation of the couple that own them.
It establishes that animals can not be treated as mere movable property, but that they are “beings endowed with sensitivity” and therefore “the welfare of the animal” must be taken care of when dealing with legal issues that affect their property, such as right of ownership or the right to use and enjoyment.
In this way, the judge decides that the pet, under co-ownership between the two members of the couple, will be with their owner in Alicante from September 1, 2019 and until March 1, 2020, and from 2 March 2020 until September 1 in Valladolid with its other owner, who will be responsible for the possession, enjoyment and custody of the dog during that period. This decision is made, not according to the rules of civil co-ownership as was usually done until now, but taking into account the “interest and welfare of the animal”, as well as that of the family and those involved.
The resolution contemplates the possibility that owners can visit the dog when it is at the other’s home at least one weekend a month, from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon
With thanks to ‘Noticias Juridicas’ for the article on this court case.
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