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Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth publicly announced their divorce last month, with Liam Hemsworth filing in Los Angeles. While the former couple didn’t have any kids together, they shared many pets, including seven dogs, two horses, two mini horses, three cats, and a pig. According to TMZ, Miley will be keeping the pets as she was the one who adopted most of the animals in their home.

Pet Custody in Ontario

“Pet custody” is an interesting concept as pets are often an integral part of a couple’s life. In Ontario, the case of Torok v. Torok addressed the issue of who gets to keep the pets. Although courts have been asked to view children and pets equally in divorce proceedings, pets are still considered “property” under Part I of Ontario’s Family Law Act.

Furthermore, in Warnica v. Gering, the court stated: “Whether in the Family Court or otherwise, I do not believe that any court should be in the business of making custody orders for pets, disguised or otherwise. To the extent that any of my colleagues may feel otherwise, I respectfully disagree. Obviously, I acknowledge that pets are of great importance to human beings. Strong bonds develop between them and the human beings that look after them. To some people, the relationship with their pets takes on a significance exceeding that of any other. They go to extraordinary lengths to preserve that relationship; even at a cost some would say is disproportionate. Some may consider them to be children; however, they are not children.”

Therefore, Ontario courts have not applied a custody or access analysis to pets, as it would be inappropriate to do so since pets are not treated in the same way as children. Nevertheless, parties separating in Ontario can ask for a determination of ownership with respect to their pets, and the legal owner of the pet will likely be able to make major decisions about the pet.

Preparing for Divorce? Call Feldstein Family Law Group P.C. Today

Contact the family law attorneys at the Feldstein Family Law Group, P.C. if you’re preparing to file for divorce. Our compassionate and client-driven legal team has been practicing family law exclusively for over 30 years, which means that we have an inclusive understanding of the various legal precedents that can impact the outcome of your case. Whether you need to negotiate a reasonable child support order or develop an agreement that lets you take Fluffy home, our experienced legal team can help.

Call the Feldstein Family Law Group, P.C. at (905) 581-7222 to arrange a consultation today.