Legal Status of Companion Pets in Divorce Under Family Law

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Phongsak Jehphong


Although pet owners view their pets as a family member and treat them like a family member, the law considers pets as property. This directly affects the pet custody disputes in a case of divorce. This is because the measures applied in such dispute by the court do not take into consideration the welfare and the best interests of companion pets even though they are living being and have emotions as human. For this reason, the welfare and the best interests of companion pets should be protected and considered by the laws. Therefore, this article provides the guidelines for changing legal status of companion pets which the law should consider the companion pets having the unique nature of living and sentience not just mere property. For this reason, when the court hands down the decision for the pet custody, the court should determine the companion pet’s best interests a priority.

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