Holy Cow! Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon just can’t call off the dogs! Celebrity divorces are often dog-eat-dog affairs, but Mariah and Nick seem to have resolved all of their issues regarding the divorce, except for what to do with their four-legged children. Yes, the dog and pony show isn’t about who gets their actual offspring, but who is going to the dogs.

It’s interesting to me to see how people fight like cats and dogs over canine custody as much as they do over their children. I know a thing or two about how attached one can get to animals, having raised, trained, and shown Dalmatians in my prior life, all while owning horses, cats, and various other critters as the children grew up. But as a divorce attorney, it astonishes me to see how often people elevate pets to the status of child and spend small fortunes hounding each other over them.

In Nevada, the law does not provide for “visitation” of pets. They are treated as “property” like any other possession, with varying degrees of sensitivity from the judge. Some judges will simply say a pet is like the furniture, and somebody’s going to end up with it or it will be sold. They simply refuse to hear argument over them. Others show some sympathy toward the bond that forms between owner and pet, encouraging the parties to settle on some arrangement before the judge has to merely award them to one or the other. And a few who have pets themselves seem to work like dogs to see that the owner and pet maintain a relationship. But make no mistake, the judges in Nevada are loathe to award “shared custody” of an animal. They would likely be overturned on appeal, and as the saying goes, “better to be a live dog than a dead lion.”

So, the shaggy dog story continues; Mariah and Nick are still at it, neither ready to turn tail and run. But theirs is a common story: they are in a case where the tail wags the dog, and they will spend a great deal of money arguing about who is top dog. Were this in Nevada, however, someone would end up with the animals, and the other would feel like they were sent with their tail between their legs to the doghouse. If you are thinking about doing this yourself, better to leave sleeping dogs lie and come to an agreement the two of you can live with.

Nick Cannon & Mariah Carey Battled Over 8 Dog