Hypothetical legal question:
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  1. #1
    k8show is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultHypothetical legal question:

    I'm super scared that I already know the answer to this one: If we split up, who would get Boo? :'(

    It's purely hypothetical at this point, but my husband and I got in a big ole' fight last night :'( and it got me thinking. We got Boo before we got married. We lived together, but didn't have a joint checking account. Brian wrote the check to pay for Boo. Since we got him though, I shop and pay for all his food, have taken him to every vet appointment, and take him to the park or walk him 6 days out of 7. All this cost has, of course, added up to more than we origonally paid for him--not that I care, I'd pay and do anything for that dog. My point is that I've spent more $ caring for him than his origonal cost, and I wonder if that would be taken into account.

    I'm afraid that he would get Boo if we split up, because he paid for him. As far as I know, dogs are treated like property in the US legal system. I can't imagine my life without my baby. Does anyone know what would happen?
    Katie and Boo

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    kassabella is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Hypothetical legal question:

    I hope this never happens. I am sorry you had a fight. In N.Z. they are treated as property nd I have heard of people going to court over a dog and it is a long drawn out process.
    Have pmed you.


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    labby is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Hypothetical legal question:

    Are there papers? If so, who is on the registration papers. Most divorces will treat the dogs like children and assign legal custody and visiting rights.



    Laura





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    TobysTrix is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Hypothetical legal question:

    I hope it never comes to that.

    But - unless you have the records to show how much more financial burden you've borne caring for the dog, I suspect the original check paying for the pup (assuming that record still exists) would carry the most weight. Unless it's your name on the vet records?

    We used to joke that whomever initiated the split would therefore lose the option of keeping the dogs - e.g. leave me, lose the dogs. In reality, I suspect it would boil down to Toby's papers being in Mark's name and Chamois's adoption being in mine. But I also hope it never becomes a real issue!
    Toby and Chamois say: GO STEELERS!
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    kaytris is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Hypothetical legal question:

    when things settle down and you are on good speaking terms, bring up this issue. Discuss it, make your points about who is the primary caregiver.. then draw up a document. Have it witnessed, then copy it and give copies to some good friends or neutral family members.

    This sounds cold and calculating, but its the best, legal way of establishing ownership. And hopefully it will never need to be used.

  8. #6
    HersheyK's Dad's Avatar
    HersheyK's Dad is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Hypothetical legal question:

    Stop worrying about who gets Boo and start working on resolving the issues between the two of you. I feel confortable saying it after 40 years of doing it. I don't know of a marriage that doesn't have its rough spots. Work through it and come out better for both of you at the other end. If you like, think of Boo as the glue that keeps you working at it, although I hope there is more. One fight should not a divorce make. You apparently were together for a while before you married, must have been something there to draw you together.
    Hershey Kisses, In charge of getting Ed out to the dog park so that he gets some exercise.

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    momofalab is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Hypothetical legal question:

    A girlfriend of mine, has joint custody of their lab. They alternate weekends, the dog lives with her during the week. Hope all works out, I will keep you in my thoughts.

    -Shannon

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    Baloo317 is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Hypothetical legal question:

    I actually looked into this, just to cover my bases, because you really never know. :-\

    Keep in mind, this is Canada, so very well might be different than the states. Baloo is the only animal that Dan and I have acquired together, the rest are all mine. Even though I signed the cheque for him, I was still a little nervous as both our names are on his registration. So, I was told by some folks who have worked on "doggie custody" cases before that if you can prove that you did everything for the dog (taking them to the vet is a BIG one) also taking them to "school", neighbours that will testify that you were always the one walking him, etc etc. then you would be granted primary custody, regardless of who paid for the dog in the first place.

    If we ever split I would hope that we could work out a plan civilly for joint custody, because I know that it would kill Dan if he couldn't see Baloo anymore.

    I'm really sorry you're going through this Katie. I hope things get better for you soon.
    Kate
    Baloo - 5 year old black lab
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    Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
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  11. #9
    k8show is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Hypothetical legal question:

    Quote Originally Posted by labby
    Are there papers? If so, who is on the registration papers. Most divorces will treat the dogs like children and assign legal custody and visiting rights.
    We're both on the papers, his name first. :-\

    Quote Originally Posted by Endofile
    Stop worrying about who gets Boo and start working on resolving the issues between the two of you. I feel confortable saying it after 40 years of doing it. I don't know of a marriage that doesn't have its rough spots. Work through it and come out better for both of you at the other end. If you like, think of Boo as the glue that keeps you working at it, although I hope there is more. One fight should not a divorce make. You apparently were together for a while before you married, must have been something there to draw you together.
    I know, Ed. Thanks for the reminder. We're not really headed for a split anytime soon. It's just been kind rough lately. It sucks how it affects Boo, when we raise our voices, he gets all scared and goes and sits outside in the rain. :'( When he comes in, he looks all sad and wet. It is motivation to keep it together, that's for sure.
    I guess I was just wondering if there was a cut and dry answer to whose dog he would be.

    On the other hand, like Kate said, it's good to cover my bases. Maybe I can start a doggy diary about all the fun Boo and I have together at the P-A-R-K and about vet visits and new toys. That might be kind of cool to have anyways.
    Katie and Boo

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    TangerineFizz is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Hypothetical legal question:

    Quote Originally Posted by Baloo317
    I actually looked into this, just to cover my bases, because you really never know. :-\

    Keep in mind, this is Canada, so very well might be different than the states. Baloo is the only animal that Dan and I have acquired together, the rest are all mine. Even though I signed the cheque for him, I was still a little nervous as both our names are on his registration. So, I was told by some folks who have worked on "doggie custody" cases before that if you can prove that you did everything for the dog (taking them to the vet is a BIG one) also taking them to "school", neighbours that will testify that you were always the one walking him, etc etc. then you would be granted primary custody, regardless of who paid for the dog in the first place.
    Yep, what Kate said. There was just a legal seminar on this exact topic actually. Since I am a very untrustworthy person (my motto is "trust no one, only yourself") I made damn sure from the get go that all dogs are paid for by me, I'm on the papers, I'm the last name at the vet's and the one who goes to the vet's, etc.etc. This way, IF anything happened, there is no disputing anything in a court of law.

    I'm sorry you guys are having issues, and I hate to say it, but it may be that first cheque that the decision comes down to in the end. Nancy had a great suggestion - see if in a good time you can get something signed and witnessed. I wouldn't do it now if you are having a go, he might think you're leaving and leave you first, even though you weren't. Good luck.
    Me, Abzilla and the Helomonster.

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