Who keeps the family pet is often a tricky and emotional issue to resolve in divorce cases. Couples are shocked to hear that the English courts determine pet ownership in the same way as they would ownership of a car or a painting.

This Spanish court ruling sharing the care of a much loved family dog, is much more in tune with how people view their pets, seeing them more as children than objects. As a nation of animal lovers, it is ironic that our approach to this lags behind other countries.

A judge in Spain has granted joint custody of a dog to a separated couple who went to court to determine who the pet should live with.