Dog Custody Gets Ugly

Illustration for article titled Dog Custody Gets Ugly

When Tiger and Elin broke up, both wanted the dogs. For stars and regular Joes alike, pet custody-battles have gotten contentious and totally ridiculous. Indeed, "animal law" is a booming new field, with pet custody cases up 23%.

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Illustration for article titled Dog Custody Gets Ugly

Britney Spears and Kevin Federline famously scrapped over who got the dogs; PETA wanted him to take them, but since they had nothing to do with it, that didn't carry any weight. Back in the day, a pet was just another asset. Now, courts take pet well-being into account, too.


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Illustration for article titled Dog Custody Gets Ugly

When Jen and Brad broke up, her dog supposedly had to go into therapy. It also reportedly hated John Mayer. See? Pets are hurt by divorce, too


Illustration for article titled Dog Custody Gets Ugly

Kim Kardashian and Reggie Bush have joint custody of their boxer, Rocky. Sometimes in such cases, the court will actually make a dog choose, Awful Truth-style.


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Illustration for article titled Dog Custody Gets Ugly

Drew Barrymore, meanwhile, sued for full custody of her bff chow-yellow Lab mix Flossie when she split with Tom Green. (And won.) A judge will often take into account a person's relationship with the pet and his or her lifestyle..."ownership" is less of an issue.


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Illustration for article titled Dog Custody Gets Ugly

Exes Tinsley and Topper Mortimer do one-month stints with Bella and BeBe. Is this disruptive to the pets? Probably...but in the words of a new book, We Can't Stay Together For The Dogs. (Plus, if we're talking well-being, get the poor things off reality TV — and a sub-par show at that! This one, now, we'll watch. )

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Who Gets The Dog In A Divorce Or A Break Up? [Suite101]
Who Gets The Pet In A Divorce? [Huffington Post]

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DISCUSSION

witchofla
Official Witch of Los Angeles

My cousin married his girlfriend of several months when he was 22 and she was 19 because of pressures from his uber-Christian parents. Mistake #1, but that's not the point ... They ended up buying a dog together.

Less than a year after getting married, they separated; they don't have enough money or assets to file for divorce because they barely had jobs to speak of. (The lived with my aunt and uncle.) Because they could afford to take care of the dog, my aunt and uncle kept it at their house. (And it is a really sweet dog!)

Now, the ex-wife is threatening to pawn her wedding ring (which belonged to my cousin's grandma) if they refuse to give the dog back to her. I know this stuff sounds crazy, but maybe "animal ownership laws" would protect loonies from doing things like this! (Besides, if it DID go to court, I'm sure the dog would stay with my aunt and uncle; the girl is sleeping on friends' couches and is jobless. I doubt she could take care of it, let alone herself.)