Cheryl Burke could take Matthew Lawrence to court over custody of their dog

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.

[From Yahoo! Entertainment]

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.

Photo credit: Instagram

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14 Responses to “Cheryl Burke could take Matthew Lawrence to court over custody of their dog”

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  1. Busy Bee says:

    It is about control. He is punishing her for leaving him.

    • Mary Tosti says:

      Exactly. It’s all about control. Narcissists don’t stop even once a relationship is over. They will use anything they can to keep that control going.

  2. Vanessa says:

    Agree. He’s being petty.

  3. Roma says:

    Her dog before they were together? I can’t fathom how he’d get access when dogs are still considered legal property. And as harsh as it sounds, this is why when I adopt animals in a relationship I make it clear it’s my pet and not theirs. I’ve been with my boyfriend for nine years, and my recent rescue was signed by me only, and I pay all the bills. If we break up, Gary’s coming with me.

    • Kebbie says:

      I agree. If it was her dog before they got married, he’s clearly just being petty. He has no legal grounds to stand on, he just wants to upset her. Good call on making it clear ahead of time that it’s your pet! It could save you a lot of pain and grief if things didn’t work out.

    • Mary Tosti says:

      Same. You would have to pry my dogs, Kitty & Snowball, from my cold dead hands.

  4. C-Shell says:

    I don’t have a partner (I’m widowed), but if anyone came for Fergus or Fiona I’d be homicidal. Like Cheryl, I can’t and won’t imagine life without my kiddos. Superficial note, Cheryl looks better than ever!

  5. Case says:

    Wow, what a dirtbag. If she was her dog before him, she’s her dog now. Starting a custody battle over this is just manipulative.

  6. K says:

    I want this pup just looking at her! He’s trying a flex with this and it’s pathetic.

  7. MerlinsMom1018 says:

    We don’t have a dog, we have a cat, but I tell you what. If MerlinsDad and I were to ever split Merlin comes with ME and the absolute hell I would rain down on the husband if he tried to take him from me would be unhinged to say the least

  8. Elsa says:

    She better not be labeling her dog a “service dog” if he isn’t. See top pics.

  9. Luna17 says:

    I hope she gets the dog since it sounds like it’s hers IMO. The ex can literally adopt a dog from a shelter and save lives. I really hope this doesn’t go to court because that is going to be so stupid and a huge waste of resources That could instead be donated to a shelter and used to save many lives of animals in need. I understand that she wants to fight for her dog and do anything for it but at the same time it’s just such a huge waste of resources when we could be saving other animals.