Earlier this year, Cheryl Burke filed for divorce from Matthew Lawrence. We didn’t know a lot about the split at the time, other than that Cheryl was struggling. Last April, Cheryl started a podcast, Burke in the Game. I’m assuming she’s been bound by some agreement until her divorce is finalized. Lord help Matthew once that happens, I have a feeling it’s all coming out on that podcast. Over the summer, Cheryl posted a cryptic IG about an ex who cheated on her after he’d said he wouldn’t anymore. Many of us assumed she was targeting Matthew. On Sunday’s podcast, Cheryl suggested that Matthew is coming for custody of her dog, Ysabella. Cheryl said they will be going to court in January unless Matthew, “all of the sudden calls it off.”
Though her divorce from Matthew Lawrence has been finalized, custody of the dog they once shared has yet to be determined.
On her iHeart podcast, Burke in the Game, the 38-year-old Dancing with the Stars pro spoke candidly on Sunday’s episode about her divorce from Lawrence, 42.
After recalling that she learned her divorce had been finalized on the premiere night of DWTS, Burke said, “It’s still not over because we have to maybe go to trial — well, we are going to go to trial, unless [Lawrence] all of the sudden calls it off. That will happen in January. I’m still just really hurt by the whole situation.”
The two will continue to dispute over ownership of their dog, Ysabella.
“That’s my dog. Ysabella is my daughter; I’m a dog mom, and that’s it. I couldn’t even imagine my life — I mean, I could just cry right now. But I couldn’t imagine my life without her,” Burke said.
In a statement to PEOPLE, Burke’s attorney Scott Klopert says, “The firm does not comment on pending litigation.” An attorney for Lawrence could not immediately be reached by PEOPLE for comment.
Pet custody is a growing issue in divorce. A case in Spain gave pet custody cases relevancy. And I understand why. All of my current pets were adopted with my partner, and I’d go to court over custody too, if that became an issue. As Cheryl said, Ysabella is her daughter. She doesn’t have human children and losing that dog would destroy her. Looking at Cheryl’s IG and Matthew’s IG, Ysabella is with Cheryl currently, so it’s unclear to me whether Matthew wants to assume custody or is seeking joint custody based on Cheryl’s comments.
Beyond that, I’m struggling with how this is going to court. In the Spanish case cited above, both petitioners signed the original adoption agreement for the dog. Ysabella was Cheryl’s dog when she married Matthew. So already he’s the stepparent. Unless he legally adopted the dog after they married, which, as far as I know, there is way to do once a dog has been purchased or adopted, he has no legal tie to Ysabella. His current obsession is reptiles, and had between 40-50 when he lived with Cheryl. Ysabella, by the way, wants nothing to do with those reptiles. But Us claims they obtained court documents that state, “The court expressly reserves jurisdiction for later determination of the issue of the ownership of the dog “Isabella.”” They also say there is a pre-nup and that the court cites it as valid in this consideration. Did they put the dog in the pre-nup? And did they spell her name differently? Not that this divorce hasn’t had drama already, but is Ysabella going to be what splashes it across the society pages? Is little Ysa going to be this generation’s Poor Little Rich Girl? I hope not, for Ysabella’s sake. Even Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello stopped feuding for their dog Tarzan.
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