Great news for pet owners.
New Family Code section in California effective as of January 1, 2019 allows the court to make orders regarding "custody" (aka ownership and/or temporary care orders) in dissolution proceedings.
New Family Code §2605 states that the court, at the request of a party to proceedings for dissolution of marriage or for legal separation of the parties, may enter a temporary order, while the case is pending, that a party is required to care for the family pet. The existence of an order providing for the care of a pet animal during the course of legal proceedings for dissolution of marriage or for legal separation of the parties shall not have any impact on the court’s final determination of ownership of the pet animal.
Further, at the request of either party, courts can now assign sole or joint ownership of a pet animal taking into consideration the care of the pet animal. “Care” includes, but is not limited to, the prevention of acts of harm or cruelty, as described in Section 597 of the Penal Code, and the provision of food, water, veterinary care, and safe and protected shelter.
“Pet animal” means any animal that is community property and kept as a household pet