Divorce sucks ... especially when cuddly pets are involved -- just ask former '90s hairbander Matthew Nelson (from Nelson) ... who officially lost his dogs (and a cat) when his divorce became final.
Nelson and former Lingerie Bowl player Yvette Stefens were married for 16-years -- and while they had no kids, they acquired 3 adorable wittle animals ... 2 dogs (Cheyenne and Kaia) and a cat (Chaplin).
The divorce became final earlier this month -- and according to court docs obtained by TMZ, the animals were awarded to Matthew's wife ... who also got to keep her Porsche, clothing, jewelry and a bunch of cash.
Matthew walked away with a BMW, a Lotus, guitars and an upright Knabe piano that belonged to his famous father, Ricky Nelson. He also got to keep all of the publishing rights to his music.
As for the animals, Matt's rep tells us the singer is "sad that as a result of the parties’ divorce his pets are no longer part of his life, but he does not regret his agreement to have the pets stay with his former wife."
The rep explains, "With all the traveling Matt does for work, his decision was best for the pets. Matt has moved on. For nearly the last 3 years, he’s been in a very happy, solid relationship with his girlfriend."