While Cheryl Burke thinks that Matthew Lawrence’s insistence to keep the dog is “cruel,” legal experts say that it may be his way to remain connected to her after the divorce. Family law attorney Holly Davis of Austin-based Kirker Davis LLP, who has extensive experience in high-net-worth divorce cases, exclusively told Nicki Swift that, more often than not, one party only asks for dog custody so as not to totally sever ties with their former partner.
“I find that oftentimes a doggie possession schedule is simply a way to remain connected to a person after a breakup,” Davis noted. “There are many challenges logistically to sharing a pet after divorce that become obvious when a person moves, gets a new dating partner, or simply wants to limit their interactions with a person they have divorced and have no children with.”
Ultimately though, it all boils down to who can better take care of the pet. Per Davis, a couple has to be “realistic and not simply idealistic.” A court is not likely to award custody to the person who “didn’t take care of the dog on an everyday basis” just because they want to “start being involved now.” She added, “Aspirational desires are typically not entertained in the face of evidence supporting the day in and day out care that the other parent provides.”