781.708.4445

wmlevine@levinedisputeresolution.com

Divorce Mediation Blog

Pet Protection: A Judge Takes Action

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

The November 28th Patriot Ledger reported that Judge James Menno, of the Plymouth Probate and Family Court, had entered the first court order of protection for a pet, permitted under a recent statutory enactment signed by Governor Patrick. LDRC’s Chouteau Levine recalls from her years on the bench that serious abuse cases routinely included threats of and/or acts of abuse towards human victim’s pets. Abuse is abuse, whatever its manifestation. That Judge Menno made the first order of this kind in Massachusetts is both random and fitting. No judge has a bigger heart or inclination to use his bench authority to protect and benefit his litigants and their dependents.

Dogs have long been recognized for their forensic and security usefulness to police and military institutions, as guides for the blind and most commonly, as beloved family members. In an era in which offices, hospitals, therapists and even courts are using or experimenting with pets as aides to reducing stress their own uniquely stressful environs, the role and importance of pets continues to grow. We have seen this principle at work in our own practice at LDRC.

For restructuring families, the disposition of pets is a growing demand. Some states have dipped their toes into “pet custody”. We have not, which is probably appropriate. Pets remain “property” under our divorce framework. But, under Massachusetts law, people may now fund testamentary trusts to provide for care of a pet; and now Judges like Menno may enhance the security of these important members of our society.

Good for Judge Menno, and good for all of us.



Get e-mail notifications of new blog posts! Enter email address below.:



Delivered by FeedBurner

other articles


recent posts


tags

health insurance child support facilitated negotiations COLA Family Law Arbitration self-adjusting alimony mediator med/arb Same Sex Marriage lawyer Major League Baseball Arbitration Obamacare Baseball divorce arbitrators Massachusetts Alimony Reform Act mediators family mediation Boston Massachusetts alimony support orders private dispute resolution conciliation divorce mediations divorce litigation Levine Dispute Resolutions Child Support Guidelines arbitrators Divorce arbitration Levine Dispute Resolution Center LLC Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly divorced Massachusetts lawyers Massachusetts alimony and child support family law mediation special master MLB labor agreement family law arbitrators medical benefits alimony law Cohabitation lawyer-attended mediation divorce agreement divorce arbitration resolve disputes separation family support Levine Dispute Resolution Matrimonial Arbitration alimony orders Baseball Players divorce mediation Chouteau Levine family law arbitrator The Seven Sins of Alimony divorce and family law mediators Massachusetts divorce lawyers annulment Divorce Agreements mediations divorce process high-risk methodology arbitrator fraud IRC §2704 mediation lawyers traditional negotiations General term alimony disputes Self-adjusting alimony orders Baseball Arbitration family law Massachusetts divorce mediators LDRC SJC Act Reforming Alimony in the Commonwealth Uniform Arbitration Act family and probate law disputes Alimony Reform Act rehabilitative alimony med-arb divorce mediators health coverage divorce judgment Levine Dispute Resolution Center litigation divorce mediator alimony statute divorce arbitrator divorce lawyers pre-ARA alimony dispute resolution alimony reform legislation alimony DOMA Defense of Marriage Act divorce and family law how baseball arbitration works Massachusetts