Fighting for Your Dog in a Divorce
The Huffington Post ran an interesting article this week about the lengths people go to get custody of their dog -- or at least to keep the dog happy as possible -- in a divorce. With a 23 percent jump in pet custody cases, its easy to see that dogs are indeed today's kids. Check out some of the interesting anecdotes from the article:
"I had a case where a couple getting divorced agreed to stay in their apartment to continue to care for their sick dog," says matrimonial attorney Raoul Felder. "Instead of making the dog a trophy in the divorce case, they stayed together until the dog passed away." According the the Huff Post, the couple even buried the dog in a silver coffin.
Stanley and Linda Perkins of San Diego, California fought for two years over Gigi, a mix of pointer and greyhound. After much testimony, the judge awarded custody to Linda after she showed the video, "A Day in the Life of Gigi." The video showed her close relationship to Gigi, who slept under her chair at work, and played fetch on the beach.
"I've had cases where that was the straw that broke the camel's back, where they've settled the residency of the children, they've settled the finances, the antiques and the paintings, the cars and the holiday homes, and then they fight over the pet -- and one of them says the whole deal is off, we're going to court," said Billy Gundelfinger, a divorce attorney in Johannsburg, South Africa.
Sandra Morgan, a lawyer in Albuerque, New Mexico, had a case where the couple shared custody of the dog's ashes. "Each was allowed to have the urn for a set period, and then the urn would be conveyed to the other," she said. "This went on for some time, until one of them accused the other of filling the urn with ashes from the fireplace."
Ouch -- that last one was low, if true!
There's even a book, We Can't Stay Together For The Dogs, that deals with what to do in these situations. It comes complete with suggestions for tests to see which of you the dog likes better...
Dogsters, how far would you go to keep your dog if you were to get divorced or break up with your partner? Have you been through this already? Would you consider compromise if it meant the dog was happier, or would you want your dog 100 percent of the time?