For now, the $40,000 legal fight about Dexter the dog is over, but one “parent” isn’t happy with a judge’s custody decision.
On Monday, a judge in Salem, N.J. ordered a former couple to share custody of Dexter, after the pair paid lawyers a ton of money in fees in what was seen as a test case.
Court Judge John Tomasello said Dexter must spend equal time with Doreen Houseman and Eric Dare.
Dare told reporters he may appeal the decision.
Previously, a Superior Court Judge determined that the Dexter was joint property and a suitable arrangement must now be determined.
There were three options: one “parent” could get full custody or a joint visitation agreement can be decided.
Dare and Houseman spent 13 years together but never married, and broke up in 2006.
In March, an another court decided pets have a special value beyond being basic property.
Previously, courts found that a dog or a cat was not a child, but rather a piece of property like a table or a lamp that would be divided in divorce.
The latest ruling that could change the animals-as-property notion.
One legal expert interviewed by Fox 29 said the case may set a precedent for courts to look past how much a pet cost, and instead consider the subjective value to the ex-spouses when making a determination.
Couple Settles $40K Dog Dispute