September 25, 2023

Adjustments to the Household Legislation Act Impacting Pet Custody in BC

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

Increasingly pets are handled as people and are given the respect they deserve in the case of what’s of their finest 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 adjustments to BC regulation for pet house owners and supply insights on the way 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 underneath the Household Legislation Act, lumped along with different belongings like automobiles, homes, and furnishings. This classification usually led to unhappy outcomes for pet house owners who thought of their pets as member of the familys moderately than mere possessions. The brand new amendments intention to handle this subject by giving household pets a singular classification and offering courts with extra particular steering on dealing with pet custody circumstances.

Understanding the Adjustments 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 courtroom should think about points reminiscent of household violence, earlier care, and the connection between youngsters 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 supply higher steering for the courts once they deal with pet custody disputes and assist pet house owners higher perceive their rights and obligations.

Key Elements Influencing Pet Custody Selections

The adjustments 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} youngster has with the companion animal
  7. The willingness and talent of every partner to look after the essential wants of the companion animal
  8. Another circumstances the courtroom considers related

These components shall be thought of by the courts in making selections 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 may also help defend the pursuits of your beloved pet.

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

Usually although, pet custody is usually a black-and-white subject the place the pet can solely stick with one of many spouses. In these circumstances, you’ll require skilled authorized counsel that can assist you navigate the courtroom system and procure custody of your pets. Contact us. 

Widespread Legislation Relationships and the Affect of Adjustments in Pet Custody Legislation

For {couples} in frequent regulation relationships, the proposed adjustments to the Household Legislation Act present further 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 Courtroom gaining jurisdiction over companion animal issues, {couples} in frequent regulation relationships now have another authorized venue to resolve their pet custody points. That is helpful for individuals who might not produce other belongings or property to divide, because the BC Supreme Courtroom is usually a costlier choice for resolving disputes.

Little one Custody and Pet Custody: Integrating the Entire Household

As you navigate the adjustments to the Household Legislation Act in British Columbia, it’s essential to think about the impression of pet custody in your youngsters. Integrating pet custody agreements into your total household regulation technique may also help create a steady and supportive atmosphere for each your youngsters and your household pet. Making certain that your youngsters preserve a robust bond with the household pet can present them with a way of continuity and emotional help throughout the difficult transition of divorce or separation.

Adapting to the Adjustments in Pet Parenting Legislation in British Columbia

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

Listed below are some important steps to think about when adapting to the current adjustments:

  1. Keep knowledgeable: Hold up to date on pet custody regulation developments and seek the advice of a household lawyer specializing in pet custody circumstances to make well-informed selections. Remember that even when a pet is excluded property, it may be taken away with out compensation underneath the brand new laws. Moreover, whereas events can comply with share custody, they can’t achieve this in a courtroom order, as a courtroom can solely assign the animal to 1 celebration or the opposite.
  2. Prioritize your pet’s well-being: All the time think about your pet’s finest pursuits when making selections about pet custody preparations.
  3. Collaborate along 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 steering: Seek the advice of a mediator, collaborative regulation skilled, or skilled household lawyer for assist in resolving complicated pet custody disputes.
  5. Set up a transparent custody schedule: Create an in depth schedule outlining the particular occasions and dates every celebration will look after the pet to attenuate confusion.
  6. Hold observe of receipts/funds and vet appointments: Preserve information of bills, reminiscent of veterinary care, meals, and grooming, in addition to attendance at vet appointments. This documentation can function proof of every celebration’s contributions and involvement within the pet’s care.
  7. Embrace provisions for pet-related bills: Tackle the division of bills, reminiscent of veterinary care, meals, and grooming, within the pet custody settlement.
  8. Overview and replace your settlement as wanted: Reassess your association and make changes as essential to prioritize your pet’s finest pursuits.
  9. Create a backup plan: Have a trusted member of the family or buddy able to step in and look after the pet if one celebration can not fulfill their custody obligations.


The current adjustments to the Household Legislation Act in British Columbia provide a chance for pet house owners to navigate pet custody disputes extra successfully and compassionately. By staying knowledgeable, prioritizing your pet’s well-being, and dealing collaboratively along 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 info 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.