Cheryl Burke Wins Dog Custody After Matthew Lawrence Court Battle
Cheryl Burke and Matthew Lawrence have reached a settlement in their pet custody dispute.
According to court documents obtained by TMZ on Saturday, Jan. 14, the Dancing With the Stars alum, 38, was awarded all ownership rights to French bulldog Ysabella. According to the court filing, Lawrence, 42, has agreed to give up any documentation or records related to the puppy.
While Burke and the Boy Meets World alum settled their divorce late last year, they remained at odds over who would take care of their Frenchie.
Cheryl Burke with dog Ysabella. Courtesy of Cheryl Burke/Instagram
“Now I am officially divorced. It all happened on the night of the Dancing With the Stars premiere,” the Dance Moms alum said during an October 2022 episode of her Burke in the Game podcast. “But it’s not over yet because we got to go on trial – unless he suddenly cancels it – but that will happen in January.”
She added at the time: “I’m still very hurt by the whole situation because he’s my dog. Ysabella is my daughter; I’m a dog mom. I couldn’t even imagine my life without him. I can just cry now.”
Lawrence, who was married to the choreographer for three years, had previously gifted Ysabella to his then-fiancée following their wedding in May 2019. Throughout their relationship and divorce proceedings, Burke took charge of caring for the dog.
“I have to give credit to my dog Ysabella for keeping me going so many times,” the two-time DWTS champ wrote in an exclusive essay for Us Weekly last October. “Yes, I am a complete “dog mom” and I’m not ashamed to say it! Having gone through a very public divorce, there have been days when I’ve wanted to stay in bed and hide, and the idea of numbing my emotions with a vodka soda can sound pretty appealing. But Ysabella has a lot of energy and takes me out for a walk several times a day, she loves to play with her and I honestly can’t imagine life without her by my side 24/7.”
Cheryl Burke and Matthew Lawrence. Stewart Cook/Shutterstock
Neither the Brotherly Love alum nor the ballroom dancer have publicly addressed the January court ruling, but each has moved on. Lawrence, for his part, has since been linked to TLC’s Chilli.
“Chilli has this permanent smile on her face, she’s so happy and tells everyone she really likes Matthew,” a source exclusively told Us earlier this month. “He’s just as smitten and it’s very clear to everyone around them that what they have together has great potential.”
Burke is currently single, but has been enjoying her newfound independence since the divorce. “I’ve found that whenever I’m at a point in my life where I have some big emotions to process, the best thing for me is to spend some time alone — other than being with [my dog] Ysa of course, but I really feel like she’s a part of me so she doesn’t count,” she wrote via Instagram in March 2022. “If I’m being honest, my feelings are really new to me.”