There is a matter before the NSW District Court where three parties are contesting who will keep “custody” of a celebrity cavoodle who has a large fan base on Instagram.
By arguing in contract, they dodge jurisdiction of the Family Court. It is alleged the cavoodle’s value is in excess of $20,000.
In family law proceedings pets are important!
According to the RSPCA statistics, about 40% of households in Australia own dogs, and a total of 61% own a pet!
If you and your partner separate who keeps the fur child?
The position taken by the Family Court of Australia is to include pets as an item of property and part of the asset pool available for division. This will usually be relevant if the pet is income earning or valuable in it’s own right. You might ask yourself, how can my pet be an income earner?
In the age of social media “influencer” dogs have significant sway!
At Tiyce & Lawyers we have our own resident puppalegal with his own Facebook following: Ferdinand on Facebook >
In assessing who will keep the pet, the Court will take into consideration the equitable and legal rights of each person in relation to the pet and assess who is the registered owner, who paid for the pet, and who continues to pay for the pet’s ongoing maintenance.
There is no case law that provides for a shared care arrangement for items of property. The Court will however, consider the best interests of a child in parenting proceedings, pursuant to section 60CC of the Family Law Act. This may result with a family pet remaining with the children and subsequently with the parent with whom the children typically reside.