September 24, 2023


Parenting News

Pet Custody at Separation: 2023 Household Legislation Modifications in BC

6 min read

Modifications to the Household Legislation Act Impacting Pet Custody in BC

The panorama of pet custody is evolving in British Columbia, with important modifications to the Household Legislation Act affecting the best way household pets are handled throughout divorce or separation

Increasingly pets are handled as people and are given the respect they deserve in terms of what’s of their greatest pursuits. Beforehand, they have been handled as mere property and never everybody agreed with such an strategy. 

On this complete information, we discover the implications of the modifications to BC regulation for pet homeowners and supply insights on methods to navigate the complexities of pet custody on this altering authorized atmosphere.

A New Perspective on Household Pets in BC Household Legislation Act

Previous to the current amendments, household pets have been handled as private property beneath the Household Legislation Act, lumped along with different property like automobiles, homes, and furnishings. This classification usually led to unhappy outcomes for pet homeowners who thought of their pets as member of the familys relatively than mere possessions. The brand new amendments purpose to handle this situation by giving household pets a novel classification and offering courts with extra particular steerage on dealing with pet custody instances.

Understanding the Modifications to the Household Legislation Act in British Columbia

The proposed amendments to the Household Legislation Act in British Columbia attempt to deal with pets like people. The very best pursuits of the pet are the focus and the court docket should contemplate points resembling household violence, earlier care, and the connection between kids and pets to find out who the pets go to at separation or divorce. 

The laws will  embody a brand new definition for pets, known as “companion animals.” This tries to offer higher steerage for the courts after they deal with pet custody disputes and assist pet homeowners higher perceive their rights and obligations.

Key Components Influencing Pet Custody Choices

The modifications to the Household Legislation Act define a number of components for courts to think about when figuring out the possession of a companion animal. These components embody:

  1. The circumstances during which the companion animal was acquired
  2. The extent to which every partner cared for the companion animal
  3. Any historical past of household violence
  4. The danger of household violence
  5. A partner’s cruelty, or risk of cruelty, towards an animal
  6. The connection {that a} baby has with the companion animal
  7. The willingness and talent of every partner to look after the fundamental wants of the companion animal
  8. Some other circumstances the court docket considers related

These components might be thought of by the courts in making choices about pet custody, permitting for a extra nuanced and pet-centric strategy to resolving disputes.

Navigating Pet Custody: Collaborative Approaches and Agreements

Growing a complete pet custody settlement that outlines obligations, parenting time, and monetary obligations might help shield the pursuits of your beloved pet.

In lots of instances, mediation or collaborative regulation processes might be useful in reaching an amicable settlement. These strategies contain working with skilled professionals to assist facilitate discussions and negotiations, in the end resulting in a decision that fits the wants of all events concerned, together with the household pet.

Usually although, pet custody generally is a black-and-white situation the place the pet can solely stick with one of many spouses. In these instances, you’ll require skilled authorized counsel that can assist you navigate the court docket system and acquire custody of your pets. Contact us. 

Frequent Legislation Relationships and the Influence of Modifications in Pet Custody Legislation

For {couples} in widespread regulation relationships, the proposed modifications to the Household Legislation Act present extra readability and help in navigating pet custody disputes. Now the provincial court along with the Supreme Court can deal with pet custody issues. 

With the Provincial Court docket gaining jurisdiction over companion animal issues, {couples} in widespread regulation relationships now have another authorized venue to resolve their pet custody points. That is useful for many who might not produce other property or property to divide, because the BC Supreme Court docket generally is a dearer possibility for resolving disputes.

Little one Custody and Pet Custody: Integrating the Complete Household

As you navigate the modifications to the Household Legislation Act in British Columbia, it’s essential to think about the impression of pet custody in your kids. Integrating pet custody agreements into your total household regulation technique might help create a secure and supportive atmosphere for each your kids and your household pet. Guaranteeing that your kids keep a powerful bond with the household pet can present them with a way of continuity and emotional help through the difficult transition of divorce or separation.

Adapting to the Modifications in Pet Parenting Legislation in British Columbia

Adapting to the modifications in pet custody regulation in British Columbia might initially appear daunting, however with the correct data and strategy, you’ll be able to navigate this new authorized panorama successfully.

Listed here are some important steps to think about when adapting to the current modifications:

  1. Keep knowledgeable: Hold up to date on pet custody regulation developments and seek the advice of a household lawyer specializing in pet custody instances to make well-informed choices. Remember that even when a pet is excluded property, it may be taken away with out compensation beneath the brand new laws. Moreover, whereas events can conform to share custody, they can’t accomplish that in a court docket order, as a court docket can solely assign the animal to 1 occasion or the opposite.
  2. Prioritize your pet’s well-being: All the time contemplate your pet’s greatest pursuits when making choices about pet custody preparations.
  3. Collaborate together with your ex-partner: Work collectively to create a mutually passable pet custody association that meets your loved ones’s and pet’s wants.
  4. Search skilled steerage: Seek the advice of a mediator, collaborative regulation skilled, or skilled household lawyer for assist in resolving advanced pet custody disputes.
  5. Set up a transparent custody schedule: Create an in depth schedule outlining the particular instances and dates every occasion will look after the pet to reduce confusion.
  6. Hold observe of receipts/funds and vet appointments: Keep data of bills, resembling veterinary care, meals, and grooming, in addition to attendance at vet appointments. This documentation can function proof of every occasion’s contributions and involvement within the pet’s care.
  7. Embrace provisions for pet-related bills: Handle the division of bills, resembling veterinary care, meals, and grooming, within the pet custody settlement.
  8. Evaluation and replace your settlement as wanted: Reassess your association and make changes as essential to prioritize your pet’s greatest pursuits.
  9. Create a backup plan: Have a trusted member of the family or pal able to step in and look after the pet if one occasion can not fulfill their custody obligations.


The current modifications to the Household Legislation Act in British Columbia provide a possibility for pet homeowners to navigate pet custody disputes extra successfully and compassionately. By staying knowledgeable, prioritizing your pet’s well-being, and dealing collaboratively together with your ex-partner and authorized professionals, you’ll be able to assist to make sure the absolute best final result to your cherished household pet.

For extra data or to arrange a session with our animal-loving, award-winning attorneys in Surrey or Vancouver, name us at 604-974-9529 or get in contact. 

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