February 2022 Bar Bulletin
By Valerie A. Villacin
Addressing a matter of first impression, Division One of the Court of Appeals in Marriage of Niemi,1 recently held that the Dissolution Act does not authorize an award of visitation with a family pet.
At issue were Mr. Bear and Kona, two dogs the wife considered her “babies” and “emotional support animals.” When the parties separated, Mr. Bear and Kona remained with the husband in the family home. While the wife did not ask to be awarded Mr. Bear and Kona at trial, she did ask for “continued access” to them. The husband was not opposed to providing the wife...