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Home > Relationships> Pets > Who gets the pet when a couple breaks up?

Who gets the pet when a couple breaks up?

A proposed reform of Spain's legal system will pave the way for judges to declare joint custody of pets in divorce hearings

Until now custody of pets has been the subject of controversy in Spain's courts. Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash
Until now custody of pets has been the subject of controversy in Spain's courts. Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

Who gets the dog or cat when a couple breaks up? A proposed reform of Spain's legal system seeks to recognise animals as "sensitive living beings" instead of mere objects as has been the case until now.

The change will pave the way for judges to declare joint custody of pets in divorce hearings just as they do with children.

Until now custody of pets "has been the subject of controversy in our courts," according to the proposed amendment to the legal code which still has to be approved by parliament.

Also read: US lawmakers unite behind bill giving cats same rights as dogs

The reform "sets out the criteria on which the courts must rely in deciding who to entrust custody of the animal, taking into account its well being".

It will also give pet owners the right to compensation for "moral injury" if their animal is hurt by another person.

The proposed change to the law was introduced in parliament on Tuesday by Spain's ruling Socialists and Podemos, their far-left junior coalition partners. It is backed by all other parties, except the far-right Vox party.

Several other European nations including France, Germany and Switzerland, have already changed their legal code to recognise domestic animals as living beings.

Also read: Poland plans pension for dogs and horses in state employment

  • FIRST PUBLISHED
    22.04.2021 | 12:15 PM IST

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