Dogs and Divorce: Can My Ex Keep Me from Seeing Our Pet?

Question:caroline thompson attorney pennsylvania

I was divorced two years ago, and my ex and I had an agreement to share custody of our dog.

At the time, we both agreed to this but now, she has decided that she no longer wants me to see the dog even though I have been paying for pet expenses equally.

I’m pretty sure that it was discussed during our divorce that I would be able to see the dog whenever my ex and I could agree on a time, but it was never put in the final divorce decree. What are my options?

Answer:

While I am not licensed to practice law in your state, I can give some general guidance on this issue.

Typically, issues with regard to marital assets and debts are addressed in marital settlement agreements and separation agreements, which are bound by contract law.

A dog is considered marital property. Therefore, if custody was not addressed in your marital settlement agreement, then you can seek to have the marital settlement agreement clarified by the court.

Please note that because a marital settlement agreement is considered a contract, this means that all of the drafting formalities of the agreement must be in place.

If a term of a contract is ambiguous, this fact will be construed against the party drafting the agreement. For example, if you or your attorney drafted the agreement and did not include a provision for the dog, the court may state that since you drafted the agreement, it was your intention not to include the dog. In that situation, the court will not intervene.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Pennsylvania divorce lawyer Caroline Thompsoncontact Cordell & Cordell.

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