Pets are family members too, and often times aren't considered the same ways that children may be when it comes to divorce. That's part of the reason a new law was signed into effect in New York.

According to the Niagara Gazette, divorce courts will get new state guidance for determining who will get custody of pets during a divorce filing.

Companion animals will no longer be treated like pieces of furniture when marital assets are divided in divorce proceedings. Judges presiding over those cases must now decide pet custody issues with the best interests of the dog, cat or parrot in mind.

Governor Kathy Hochul signed the law this week, The guidance allows the judge to consider the "best interests" of the animal, like who spends the most time with the pet, who feeds it the most often, and who took the pet for veterinary care.

Assemblywoman Deborah Glick said the measure will help prevent pets from being used as "bargaining chips" in divorce negotiations and ensures the placement of an animal has the best possible outcome for the pet.

"I think in the past pets were simply property," Glick said. "But they are sentient beings, and on that basis they deserve some thoughtful consideration, and that is what the intention is."

With the signing of this law, New York joins the ranks of California, Alaska and Illinois. This is a great thing, because finally, pets will be treated the same way as children in our state.

Do you agree with this law going into effect? Or do you believe it will cause even more of a fight? Will we have to start preparing lawyers to practice pet custody cases in case things get messy?

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