Restraining Orders and Pets

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Jun 09, 2023 | 0 Comments

They don't call them “fur babies” for nothing.

Today, many consider their dogs, cats, and other pets to be cherished parts of the family. Sociological research shows that human-animal interactions in the home are important. And thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, not only do more American households have pets – we are forming stronger bonds with these animals than ever before. They hold a special place in our hearts, and we work to protect them from illness, injury, and other stressors.

So, what happens to our beloved animals when domestic troubles strike and a restraining order is issued? How do you protect your family – including your pets?

Your Pet Deserves Protection, Too

Today, the majority of states in the United States have laws on the books that make it possible to include pets on court-ordered protective orders. More than ten years ago, New Jersey became part of that list with the Domestic Violence Pet Protection Law. This law allows the person who is filing for a restraining order to “[direct] the possession of any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by either party or a minor child residing in the household.”

The law further adds language to protect your pets in the case of abuse or threat of abuse, noting that when either has occurred, “possession of the animal shall be awarded to the non-abusive party.”

If you have learned a protective order has been issued against you, you may want to ensure that you will still have some access to your beloved animals. That's why it's so important to make sure you have the right representation by your side. Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm Criminal Defense Team understand the in's and out's of the Domestic Violence Pet Protection Law. They can make sure your rights are protected.

The Right Representation, Right Now

Any situation where a restraining order is issued is a stressful one. You may feel angry, scared, or frustrated. You may worry that you will permanently lose access to an animal that has become part of your family. By retaining Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm Criminal Defense Team, you can make a strong case for possession of your pets – as part of a strong defense against pending allegations.

Joseph D. Lento and his Criminal Defense Team understand the strong bonds that people have with their pets. They also understand that it can be easy to overlook your pets when you are facing a domestic violence allegation or restraining order request. When you have a skilled and experienced New Jersey criminal defense team by your side, however, you are in a stronger position to defeat any meritless or manipulative restraining order requests. You can protect your own rights – as well as the possession of and visitation with your loved ones, including your cherished dogs, cats, and other pets.

Contact Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm to discuss your case – and find a path forward to protect your pets – at (888) 535-3686 today.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento is a veteran of one of the nation's busiest family courts with nearly 20 years' experience passionately helping families. By day, he worked in the trenches of family court, and at night, he studied the law. He helped countless families while working at family court, and he went on to become an attorney, dedicating his law practice to continuing the work he started years earlier. Mr. Lento's experience both behind the scenes and on the front lines allows him to understand a client's family law matter from all angles, and allows him to find and employ the most effective strategies to get favorable outcomes for any client. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in New Jersey and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings! He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and protects their interests.


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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience practicing Family Law in New Jersey. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you and your family, contact our offices today. Family Law Attorney Joseph Lento will go above and beyond the needs for any client and fight for what is fair.

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