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Pets' welfare will be considered in divorce battles in Spain

Spain will consider a pet's welfare when couples divorce or break-up from Wednesday in a legal shift that strengthens the case for couples obtaining shared custody of their animals.

Spain will consider a pet’s welfare when couples divorce or break-up from Wednesday in a legal shift that strengthens the case for couples obtaining shared custody of their animals.

Summary

  • Madrid, Spain Spain will consider a pet’s welfare when couples divorce or break-up from Wednesday in a legal shift that strengthens the case for couples obtaining shared custody of their animals.
  • The decision follows similar moves in France and Portugal and obliges judges to consider pets as sentient beings rather than objects owned by one or the other partner, a trend that was already underway before the law was passed.
  • In October, a Madrid judge gave joint custody of a dog to an unmarried couple who sought a court ruling on whom the pet should stay with after they separated.
  • The dog spends a month with each of them and both are legally responsible.
  • Garcia, whose Rights&Animals firm handled the case, considers the reform a major first step in a series of forthcoming legal changes governing people’s relationship with animals.