However, family law solicitor Paul Lancaster, of Leeds-based law firm Blacks Solicitors, says celebrities are driving the trend – other former couples who have fought over their dogs include Jake Gyllenhaal and Kirsten Dunst, and Drew Barrymore and Tom Green.‘Celebrity dog battles have normalised the issue and given people the confidence to fight for their pet,’ he says.Liam was particularly upset to be separated from chocolate-brown Brigitte Bardot, which he bought in 2011 and was besotted with.A source said he was considering a civil case to plead for custody: ‘He wants to share custody of the dogs – no way is he prepared to lose them. They reportedly agreed to split their fortune equally, but Cheryl insisted that she keep the two chihuahuas full time.Twilight stars ROBERT PATTINSON and KRISTEN STEWART initially agreed to share time with their two dogs, Bear and Bernie, after they split up in 2013.But it was reported last summer that Kristen had taken legal advice about pursuing sole custody, after Rob left them with friends while filming in Canada‘When we got our cockapoo Joseph together five years ago, we never imagined separating – so we never discussed who’d have him.I hope we will work it out.' And work it out they did: the pair have since reunited and tied the knot As a result ‘pre-pups’ are becoming increasingly popular.‘Couples come to us before getting a dog so it’s determined from the outset who’ll keep it if they split,’ says Vanessa.
‘I was beside myself with joy; I missed them so much when they weren’t with me,’ she says.Pets share our living space, our homes, our holidays, they’re part of how we structure our daily lives.Walking away from a pet is hard – I’ve had people say it’s as bad as walking away from your children; people feel just as strongly about losing contact.’ LAUREN GOODGER and MARK WRIGHT - of The Only Way Is Essex fam - eventually agreed to joint custody over chihuahua Wrighty after ending their engagement in 2011.We both raised him so we both want to claim sole custody,’ says Emma, 30, a teacher from Cirencester.
‘We compromised on other things but neither of us will budge on this.
‘They were our lives and we would walk them together every day.