'DWTS' Alum Cheryl Burke Wins Custody of Dog in Matthew Lawrence Divorce

Cheryl Burke has officially been awarded full custody of her dog Ysabella after a contentious legal battle with ex-husband Matthew Lawrence. The Dancing With the Stars pro, 38, took to Instagram Monday to reveal her legal win, sharing photos with her dog to celebrate the good news.

"Officially a FULL TIME dog mom," she wrote in the caption, adding, "2023, we're off to a great start!" Burke and Lawrence, 42, split in early 2022 and finalized their divorce in September, but they remained in a legal battle to determine who would get custody of their dog. It was a heartbreaking experience for Burke, who got emotional about the custody battle in an October episode of her podcast, Burke in the Game.

"We are going to go to trial – unless he all of a sudden calls it off, but that would happen... and that will happen in January," Burke said at the time. "I'm just still really hurt by the whole situation. You know, that's my dog. Ysabella is my daughter." She continued, "I'm a dog mom. And that's it. I can't even imagine my life. I mean, I could just cry right now but, like, couldn't imagine my life without her."

The same month, Burke couldn't hold back her emotion as she talked about the dog's custody in an interview with Entertainment Tonight, calling the whole situation "really sad." The dancer added, "It sucks because, for me, it's just cruel. She's my dog, and it was a gift from my ex, and I hope that this soon, you know, dies down, and he calls it off. Because you're taking, like, my daughter away from me."

Following his split from Burke, Lawrence debuted his relationship with TLC's Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas, 51,  announcing their relationship publicly at the start of January. "I've been with Chilli since 2005 and I've never seen her this in love," Chilli's rep told PEOPLE at the time. "She is glowing. They are really cute together." The new couple showed off their chemistry on social media to make things official, posting a joint Instagram video of them dancing in matching Christmas pajamas, emulating A-ha's "Take on Me" music video.