The Pets of the Miley Cyrus v Liam Hemsworth Divorce

Miley Cyrus is a 26-year old American, singer, songwriter and actress.  She began her career as a child actress and became famous in 2006 when she starred in the Disney Channel’s television series Hannah Montana.  She is the daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus.

In 2010, she began changing her image of wholesome Disney girl, to a rock and roll siren with songs like Can’t Be Tamed, We Can’t Stop, and Wrecking Ball.

In 2009, she filmed a movie entitled, The Last Song.  There she met and began an on-again-off-again romantic relationship with her co-star Liam Hemsworth.

Liam Hemsworth is a 29-year old Australian television and movie actor.  He and Cyrus became engaged in 2012.  She was 20 years old and he was 23.  They broke off the engagement and their relationship, but rekindled it in 2016.  They married in December of 2018.  In August of 2019, Hemsworth filed for dissolution of marriage in Los Angeles County.  There are no children from the marriage.

According to TMZ, they have a pre-nuptial agreement so there are no property or support issues to settle.

On August 23, 2019, TMZ again reported on the Cyrus-Hemsworth divorce.  “Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth didn't have any kids together, but they DID share tons of pets ... and now that they're divorcing, Miley's keeping all of the animals under her roof.  Sources close to the former couple tell TMZ ... Miley will keep her menagerie of pets -- 7 dogs, 2 horses, 2 mini horses, 3 cats and a pig.”

Also, according to TMZ, “…Fact is ... if Liam wanted to put up a fight, he could in California because there's a new law that allows judges to determine which party is best suited to keep the pets. The judge puts a lot of weight on who cares for the animals. Judges even have the power to award joint custody of household pets.”

TMZ is right that, effective January 1, 2019, California does have a new law changing the way courts look at how family pets.  Prior to 2019, courts looked at pets as property with each party entitled to one-half the value of the pets.  Now if there is a request of a party to the dissolution, the judge will treat pets similarly to children in determining ownership.

Here, again, according to TMZ, there is no request from either party to have the judge determine ownership.  Hemsworth agrees that the pets belong to Cyrus.

According to Family Code Section 2605, at the request of a party to a dissolution of marriage or separation proceedings, a judge will take into consideration factors like who walks, feeds and plays with the pet when deciding who the animal should live with.