They'll be viewed as family members.

A new law in California treats pets much like children in divorce cases.

The legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown allows judges to decide who gets to keep the animals, The Associated Press reports. The judges will be able to look at who feeds and cares for them, essentially giving the consideration as family members.

The law takes effect at the beginning of next year.

Until now, when disputes over pets have arisen during divorce cases, judges have had to improvise. Some have even "put the dog between the would-be owners and tried to determine who it liked the best," according to AP.

Atousa Saei, a family law attorney, told AP that some judges have even said things along the lines of, "OK, you get the dog a month at a time, a week at a time."

Read more at The Associated Press

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