In light of the new California law that treats pets like family in divorce, you have a lot to consider when splitting up. If you see your dog, cat, guinea pig or snake as your own family, you want to keep as much custody as possible. The last thing you want is to lose custody and never see your beloved pet again.

Thankfully, there are some easy steps you can take to ensure you get sole or joint custody of a pet in California. Here is how to better your chances.

Provide ownership or adoption documents

The moment you find the perfect pet is unforgettable. Whether it is from a breeder, animal shelter or pet store, you probably have some sort of papers showing who owns the pet. If your name is on this document, you have an advantage for getting custody. 

Offer receipts from the vet and pet store

California law is concerned with who provides adequate care for the pet. This includes proper veterinary care and food and water. If you have receipts that prove you are responsible for expenses related to vet visits, food and water, this makes you look good in the eyes of the judge. 

Submit pictures and videos

If you are like most pet owners today, you probably take photos and videos on your phone of you and your pet together. You may even upload these cute moments to social media. Any evidence you have that you spend a lot of time loving and caring for your pet helps you obtain custody.

Show evidence you can provide sufficient care

Aside from preventing cruelty and harm, you want to show your living situation will be adequate for your pet. This includes whether your lease allows pets if you rent or whether you have a big yard for a large dog. You may also want to consider your work schedule.