But who gets the dog? A new state law signed Monday by Gov. Kathy Hochul could answer that question during a divorce proceeding. 

The new law will require courts to consider the best interest of a pet or companion animal during a divorce proceeding when awarding custody in New York.

Lawmakers who backed the bill argue custody battles over a beloved pet during a divorce are not uncommon, and the law, which goes into effect immediately, is meant to help courts determine a clear path for awarding possession of the companion animal. 

Alaska became the first state in 2017 to put a similar law on the books. And while the divorce rate has dropped considerably in the last several years, pets and companion animals are dealt with as personal property by the courts, similar to a car or furniture. 

"For many families, pets are the equivalent of children and must be granted more consideration by courts to ensure that they will be properly cared for after a divorce," lawmakers wrote in a bill memo when the measure was first introduced earlier this year.

The measure was backed by Sen. James Skoufis and Assemblywoman Deborah Glick.