NSW Pet Custody: Housemate or Me

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Jakobchu, 21 April 2018.

Tags:
  1. Jakobchu

    Jakobchu Member

    Joined:
    21 April 2018
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi there,

    My girlfriend and I would like to know who gets custody of our dog when we stop living with our housemate.

    - We all decided on getting a dog together, but the dog is in my girlfriend’s name.
    - We have been living together for four years in a house the housemate bought.
    - During the first couple of years we all trained and cared for the dog, however our housemate did actually put in more effort in the beginning.
    - My girlfriend and I were struggling emotionally and financially, and our relationship with our housemate had been weakened due to the power imbalance of him owning the house, and his infrequent yet emotionally damaging drunken text messages in which he would berate my girlfriend and I for arguably minor things.
    - For the last year and a half, my girlfriend and I have had a much more stable lifestyle, and as such have been able to care for the dog to the same level as our housemate.
    - Our housemate expects to keep the dog when we leave and is willing to go to court to win custody.

    What are our options here?

    Any advice or help would be appreciated.
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member
    LawTap Verified

    Joined:
    27 May 2014
    Messages:
    5,236
    Likes Received:
    739
    1. Housemate to keep the dog, pay you each 1/3 of the initial cost.
    2. You keep dog and pay housemate 1/3 of initial cost.
    3. Timeshare dog.
    4. You buy a new dog so your partner transfers her emotional attachment to her new dog - possibly using money from option 1.
    5 Give dog away because it causes too much friction.

    Personally I think number 4 is a good option.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  3. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 July 2014
    Messages:
    3,664
    Likes Received:
    671
    Family law isn’t the right field of law for this (indeed, I don’t think legal remedy is even suitable for this situation).

    But some common sense argument from someone who both owns a house and a dog.

    The ‘first couple of years’ in dog ownership require the most effort - house training, teaching them not to chew, working out their diet, getting them vaccinated, teaching them commands like sit, come and stay.

    Now that you and your girlfriend have been ‘stable for a while’, you think you’ve been ‘looking after the dog equally for the past 18 months’, ie. filling its water bowl, feeding it from time to time and essentially enjoying the ease of looking after a dog who has already been trained by someone else.

    Ignoring that dogs are considered property in family law, imagine this is a child. Would Parent A, who worked full-time while Parent B stayed home and reared the kids, be considered the primary carer?

    Nope. Parent B, who spent the most time looking after the kids at their most dependent, would be considered the primary carer, and in family law, that would have some influence over who the child lives with in a dispute about parenting matters.

    In top of that, your housemate owns the house, correct? Do you and your girlfriend own a house? No? Then he’s more equipped than you are to provide for this dog. Plenty of renters have pets, certainly, but plenty of landlords don’t allow tenants to have pets, and what happens then?


    Apply your logic, and if you still decide you want a dog, then maybe consider buying a pup that you can raise yourselves - as your housemate did.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  4. Jakobchu

    Jakobchu Member

    Joined:
    21 April 2018
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0

    Hi there,

    Thank you for your brutally honest reply.

    I feel like I made myself and my girlfriend sound negligent which even our housemate does not believe we are.

    You have given me a lot to think about. I foresee the next few weeks being awful.
     
Loading...

Share This Page

Loading...
gt;