Pet Custody Have an Award-Winning Team on Your Side

Westchester County Pet Custody Attorney

Pet Custody in New York State

While many people consider their pets as part of their family, in the event of a divorce, family courts do not have similar views. In New York State and Westchester County dogs, cats and other companion animals are treated as property, such as a table or couch. While many consider this law to be cold hearted and unfair, certain exceptions and other considerations do apply.

If you and your spouse disagree on who will keep the family pet, let our legal team at Proto, Sachs & Brown, LPP and help you decide a pet custody arrangement that works for everyone. Due to the complexities of the laws regarding pet custody, we can help you navigate the legal process and ensure you obtain the most favorable outcome in court.

Contact us today at (914) 840-5104 for a free initial consultation. Get more than 100 years of combined experience on your side!

What New York Courts consider in a Pet Custody Dispute?

Courts will first look to ownership paperwork concerning a pet or companion animal including documents obtained at the time of the pet adoption or purchase from a breeder. It is always important to keep your pet’s ownership paperwork in a safe place. Next the court will examine who primarily cares for the pets, such as, who pays their veterinary expenses; who pays for grooming; who makes decisions regarding medical treatment and potential euthanasia decisions. Again, it is important to keep records from anyone who cares for your pet (such as a pet sitter) or a veterinarian.

Are Pets legally treated like Children in New York?

Pets do not enjoy the same level of analysis and protection as children. In New York State the standard for custody of children is called the “best interests of the child” standard but the approach towards a pet has been viewed as what is the “best for all concerned” standard.

Pets are family members and, in a divorce, proceeding pets have received special treatment especially when children are involved. Typically, children have a strong attachment to a family pet and it is common for pets to be permanently located where the children primarily reside. Therefore, a custodial parent will have a stronger claim to a family pet.

Pet Custody and Divorce Lawyers

We all love our animals and consider them as a family member. At Proto, Sachs & Brown, LLP, everyone in the office has their own animals and we understand that pets are so much more than possessions.

In one case we have handled a couple separated and our client was seeking a family dog after a breakup that was being held by our client’s ex-boyfriend. It was a highly litigated matter and came down to supporting documentation as to adoption papers and veterinarian bills all of which were in our client’s name. In comedic fashion, the ex-boyfriend’s attorney requested the court consider the testimony of a “dog whisperer” who spoke to the dog personally. The judge immediately denied this ridiculous testimony. Our client won possession of her dog. She and her dog were thrilled to be reunited.

We are here to help protect your rights and the rights of your family pet. If you have a dispute over a pet or are considering a Westchester County divorce, we can resolve issues as to pet ownership and custody.

Where are your Lawyers Located in Westchester County?

Our main office is located in downtown White Plains and we also maintain an office in downtown Peekskill to better serve our northern Westchester, Rockland and Putnam County clients.

Call today for a free initial consultation at (914) 840-5104.

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Read How We've Helped Past Clients
  • “I have worked with Keith Brown and he always took the time to answer my questions. He always had a plan for me and explained everything clearly.”

    - Jason B.
  • “Both, David Sachs and Andrew Proto demonstrated strong character, punctuality, support and constantly searching for all options to win my both cases, and they made it possible.”

    - Adela L.
  • “David Sachs and the lawyers at Proto, Sachs & Brown, LLP are the best criminal lawyers in Westchester County. Each lawyer in the firm are top-rated as I had the opportunity to work with each of the 3 attorneys.”

    - Robert C.

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