blog home Property Division Former Couple Given Solution Over Dog: Dividing Property or Sharing Custody?

Former Couple Given Solution Over Dog: Dividing Property or Sharing Custody?

By Sheryl Rentz on October 14, 2009

In a previous blog entitled, “Since When is Pet Custody Compared to Child Custody?”, we discussed an unusual case that had gone to trial for the second time over a very loved dog named Dexter. Although we usually hear about former couples or spouses going to court over custody of their children, this case is still significant in that both parties considered their dog Dexter to be like a son. And as it turns out, this case was more concerned with the issue of division of property than it was with actual custody. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the Superior Court judge finally made a decision in the case to have the former couple share custody of their property, Dexter the pug, in five-week rotations.

According to the newspaper article, before the couple split, they lived together for seven years in a home they both owned. Although the man involved in the pet custody dispute claims he should have been given full custody of Dexter because he purchased the dog, took him to the vet, and paid for his food, it was determined that the woman also played an influential role in Dexter’s life by helping take care of him. The judge handling the case made it clear that this was not an official “custody arrangement” because dogs are “just one of many objects to be divided in a breakup.” Although the couple may not agree with this point of view, the judge also referred to Dexter stating, “He might be cute and furry, but he’s still property. He’s no more than that.”

Break-ups are never easy, and can be especially difficult to handle on your own when legal issues pertaining to the division of property/assets and custody are involved. As the case involving Dexter clearly shows, we are often attached to a broad range of “property” that we may feel is worth going to court for in order to make sure it remains ours. However, not every dispute over the division of assets or custody is taken to court.

If you or someone close to you is going through a divorce in Pennsylvania, it is highly likely that the issue of division of assets will arise. To ensure that you fairly receive ownership of property that is yours, it may be in your best interest to seek the legal counsel and representation of a skilled Pennsylvania property division attorney. At the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz P.C., our family law attorneys have the experience and knowledge to handle cases pertaining to the division of property, child custody, child support, and much more. Call Sheryl R. Rentz today at 610-645-0100 for a free consultation of your family law case.

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