Parents divorcing - custody battle over dog. Need opinions.

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Khirsa, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. Khirsa macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    #1
    My parents are going through a nasty divorce and one of the things on the list of demands my mom is making is our 2 year old chihuahua, Jack. We have two other dogs (Shelties) that she isn't even interested in. The lawyers are trying to argue custody, but I'm arguing that the dog isn't a chip in the divorce to bargain with because he doesn't belong to either of my parents. My father is very interested in keeping Jack, because he is part of the family.

    Facts:
    -Mom and Dad bough Jack for me as a graduation present in 2006. They paid from the joint checking account.

    -Jack's paperwork is in my name.

    -Mom is currently living with her mother in a senior citizen's apartment building. No yard, both smokers.

    -Mom is declared disabled by SSI due to disabilities of the lower back. She can't bend or stand for long periods of time, which means she can't walk Jack. And with no yard, she'd have to walk him 3+ times a day.

    -We are living in the home, which is smoke-free, and we have a large fenced in yard for our dogs.

    -In March 2008 Mom tried to commit suicide and then assaulted me for protecting my father from her. I moved from the home in April for 4 months, making my Dad and brother promise to look after both my dogs, and my cat. I returned August 1st, my mom left August 23rd.

    -During the 4 months I was gone my mom suffered from severe depression and stayed locked in her room in bed all day, everyday. She kept Jack in the room with her. And as a result of jealousy issues, our male Sheltie would attack Jack sometimes. Since she has been gone (6 months) and I've been giving equal attention there has been only 1 spat and it was not serious. The two boys have actually begun laying together and playing together. I even walk them together now.

    -I'm currently unemployed and my father (who I live with) gladly pays for Jack's food, groomings, and any vet bills until I find employment.

    Sorry this post got so long, but I can't imagine losing my dog to her. She's unfit in everyway. Do you think I have a case?
     
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #2
    Know this much, I am sorry to hear about your situation and I can only imagine how rough this is on you as the kid. However, seeking this type of advice online is never great. Some people will say you have a case, others will say you do not. Each and every response will be an opinion unless somehow someone shows you the credentials they hold that makes them uniquely qualified to make such a determination. Until then, consider all responses opinions that can be right or wrong.

    Again, it is sad to see you are going through this, in fact, this is not even about your dog but it is about hurting your father or vice versa. Divorces can be quite easy or quite nasty. Your best bet is to seek legal advice from your father's lawyer, if he even has one.
     
  3. iGav macrumors G3

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    Mar 9, 2002
    #3
    I'd have thought so, given Jack's your dog. It's a shame you're not in a position to be able to move out, and take Jack with you just to reinforce that point.

    Sounds like a very sad situation your family is in though, after going through a comparable one in my own family over the last 4 years, you have my sympathies, I hope it all works out for you.

    G.
     
  4. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #4
    Talk to both their lawyers, and make the point that Jack is your dog.

    And if they continue billing for the fight over the dog, that you just might have to turn them into the bar association about the improper billing for this portion of the divorce.
     
  5. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

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    Langley, Washington
    #5
    Exactly, the dog is yours, therefore they have no rights to it.

    TEG
     
  6. yojitani macrumors 68000

    yojitani

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    #6
    Is this not something you can talk to your mother about?

    This must be difficult for everyone though I hope your mother is getting treatment. Major depressive disorder is devastating.
     
  7. fireshot91 macrumors 601

    fireshot91

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    Jul 31, 2008
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    Northern VA
    #7
    If the dog is in your name (Even if I believe that dogs shouldn't belong to a person), I'd think that wherever you decide to live, the dog will follow.
     
  8. Khirsa thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 6, 2009
    #8
    What exactly is improper billing? I'm having a hard time finding information on the net. Thanks in advance.
     
  9. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    Jan 9, 2008
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    Japan
    #9
    Set the dog in the middle and have the parents call to it. Whichever the dog goes to has more rights to keep it with them.

    No! Wait... a better test would be to set the parents in the middle and have the dog call to them! :D
     
  10. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    Oct 9, 2006
    #10
    One question to ask is are you 18 and where you 18 at the time you got the dog.
     
  11. Khirsa thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 6, 2009
    #11
    Yes. To both.
     
  12. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

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    #12
    Then the case is simple. The dog is yours.

    And the lawyers fighting it out over the dog is improperly billing because they know that there are no actual issue at hand, and this would be a clear violation of their professional responsibility code, hence the report to the Bar Association.

    (I'm a law student. That's my credential - which isn't worth ****, just so you know ;) )
     
  13. Khirsa thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 6, 2009
    #13
    At the Early Settlement Panel they had "Custody" time of Jack factored into the settlement. I said absolutely not, but how can they even do that when it's my dog, not my parents? And is there anything I could do about it?
     
  14. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    St. Louis, MO
    #14
    Sounds to me like Jack is your dog and he will go wherever you go. Your mother has no case.
     
  15. shorty16127 macrumors newbie

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    Sep 7, 2009
    #15
    my ex-brother-in-law was awarded custody of our MOTHERS 15 year old dog that she had for 15 years because my sister wouldn't give up one of her dogs. now we think the dog is dead (even tho he was in perfect health) so now he is going after one of my sisters dogs that she has had for 8 years- since the day they were born. she owned the mother too. i hope it works out for you but it could go either way because pets are considered property in most states
     
  16. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    Feb 19, 2005
    #16
    Word up newbie, this was back in March. ;) My guess/hope is Jack is safely with his owner.
     
  17. techfreak85 macrumors 68040

    techfreak85

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    #17
    well since it seems we have revived this thread,:p

    Op, how did it all go?
     

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