Your Advocate For A New Life

Julia M. Garwood • Certified Family Law Specialist

Pet Custody Lawyers


When 56% of pet owners say they would risk their lives to protect their pet, is it any wonder that so many animal lovers are willing to fight for custody of their animals? While it is a good idea to work out pet custody issues amongst you and your spouse, it’s not always possible. When tempers are boiling and parties no longer know what they actually want and what they only want out of spite, it is time to talk about pet custody with your San Diego family attorney.

When you hire a lawyer from Garwood Family Law and Mediation you can be certain that we will do everything possible to make your divorce as easy and quick as possible. When you cannot reach an agreement with your spouse directly, we will work with his or her San Diego pet custody lawyer to create a pet custody agreement that everyone can agree to. If we can not reach an acceptable decision with your spouse’s attorney, we will be willing to take the issue before court, if necessary. While other states consider animal companions to be little more than chattel — property to be bought or sold, California recognizes the importance a pet can play in our lives. With that in mind, the Family Code ยง6320 specifically allows a court to grant exclusive care of any animal to a single party and may even issue a restraining order against the other party to prevent the abuse or abduction of the pet.

When courts decide who will receive custody of the pet, they will usually assign the animal to live in the home where children have residence. In homes without children, many factors will be taken into account, including who will stay in the animal’s current residence, who purchased the animal, who pays for most of its needs and, most importantly, who displays the greatest emotional attachment to the animal. Your San Diego pet custody lawyer may help you provide evidence to show that you have the greatest attachment to your animal.

If you are concerned with the custody of your pet, contact a skilled San Diego family attorney. At Garwood Family Law and Mediation, we understand family law in San Diego, which is why we know how important a dog, cat or other pet can be to everyone in the family. We will do everything possible to ensure a positive outcome for everyone involved in the divorce process — including Spike or Fluffy.


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1450 Frazee Road, Suite 501, San Diego, CA 92108