In the case of a contested divorce in Spain, the judge must now consider “the future of companion animals, taking into account the interest of family members and the welfare of the animal, and the distribution of incubation and care times” refers to this provision.
Who takes care of a dog or cat in the event of a divorce? Since last Wednesday, a Spanish law has solved such a dilemma and grants joint custody of pets, which are “allergic organisms” and not just “things”.
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A cat, dog, turtle, fish or bird may be under surrogate guardianship. Until now, custody of companion animals in the event of a divorce has been “a subject of controversy before the courts,” which led to this amendment in the Spanish Civil Code, the text continues.
This law also obligates owners to “ensure the welfare” of their animals. If this is not the case, or if the person has a history of animal abuse, custody can now be denied or withdrawn by a judge.
The welfare of the animal must also be considered by the courts in the case of a disputed succession if several heirs claim custody of them. The far-left group Podemos, which is a member of the government, wants to move forward and hopes a bill will be passed this year to ban the sale of pets in stores in particular.
Several European countries have already amended their civil code to recognize the lively and sensitive nature of animals, such as France in 2015, as well as Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Portugal.
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