Cheryl Burke’s divorce from Matthew Lawrence has seemed somewhat contentious based on the information about it she’s putting out there herself. She strongly implied that he cheated and she took him to court over custody of their dog. The dog custody issue persisted after their actual divorce was finalized, but now it’s resolved — Cheryl gets custody of Ysabella.
Cheryl Burke and Matthew Lawrence have reached a settlement in their pet custody dispute.
According to court documents, obtained by Us Weekly on Saturday, January 14, the Dancing With the Stars alum, 38, was awarded all ownership rights pertaining to French bulldog Ysabella. Per the court filing, Lawrence, 42, has agreed to give up any documentation or data pertaining to the pup.
While Burke and the Boy Meets World alum settled their divorce late last year, they remained at odds over who would care for their Frenchie.
“I am now officially divorced. This all happened on premiere night of Dancing With the Stars,” the Dance Moms alum said during an October 2022 episode of her “Burke in the Game” podcast. “But it is still not over because we have to go to trial — unless he all of a sudden calls it off — but that will happen in January.”
She added at the time: “I am still really hurt by the whole situation because that is my dog. Ysabella is my daughter; I am a dog mom. I couldn’t even imagine my life without her. I could just cry right now.”
Lawrence, who was married to the choreographer for three years, had previously gifted Ysabella to his then-bride following their May 2019 nuptials. Throughout their relationship and divorce proceedings, Burke took charge of taking care for the pooch.
“I have to give credit to my dog Ysabella for keeping me going a lot of the time,” the two-time DWTS champ wrote in an exclusive essay for Us Weekly last October. “Yep, I’m a full-blown ‘dog mom’ and not ashamed to say it! Going through a public divorce, there have been days where I wanted to just stay in bed and hide, and the idea of numbing my emotions with a vodka soda can sound pretty appealing. But Ysabella has tons of energy and gets me outside to go for walks multiple times a day, she loves me to play with her and I honestly can’t imagine life without her by my side 24/7.”
I’m no expert in pet custody, but if Matthew gave Cheryl the pup as a gift, it would seem she’s the rightful owner/mom, but I think documents may have played a factor as well. Something similar happened to my friend during a breakup — she went to court with her ex because she wanted the dog, but despite the fact that she was more attached and had done all the caring, the dog ultimately went to her ex because his name was on all the papers. It sounds like Cheryl was the appropriate person for the dog — the dog was a gift to her and she did all the caring. I’m sure Matthew loved the dog as well — obviously, if they went to court — but she was Cheryl’s dog. I definitely empathize with Cheryl in this situation. Regardless of the circumstances under which we parted, I couldn’t imagine an ex ever trying to take my beloved pet and especially not after a contentious breakup. It sounds like the dog is bringing Cheryl a lot of peace at this time and that’s great.
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