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Custody Battle

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone. Long time no type.

Got a question if anyone knows the answer. My sister is getting divorced. No need for sympathy, this is a good thing, she said so!

Anyway, she has this cat, Abbey, whom I rescued like 8 years ago and gave to her (Abbey needed a home and she need a cat. It seemed to work. ) Three years later, she married her soon to be ex. He is now holding the cat hostage, so to speak and won't give her back. He doesn't want the cat, this is just the latest move in a string of things to make her life difficult.

Any recommendations on what to do? Is there anything we can get from the vet to prove it was her cat first? She's going to ask her lawyer but I thought if there's something we can send to her from the vet or something...

Thanks!
post #2 of 15
Is the cat's vet records under her name only? If so....at least here....I think that proves her owner.
post #3 of 15
A friend of my sisters got divorced and the many dogs they owned
were brought into the divorce. They had no children. Your sister most certainly can have her lawyer include this in the divorce, that the
cat is hers!
post #4 of 15
Seems to me like this would be similar to a case of having children from a previous marriage. She had this cat for three years before they were married, so the cat was like his...step-cat. Of course, all of this would need to be proven.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
All good thoughts. I passed them on and she sends her thanks.

I used to snort at people who had custody battles over pets but now watching this, seeing him do what he can to make life difficult, I can understand a little better.

I wonder, as her rescuer, if I can demand her back, since I gave her expressly to my sister but I suppose that after you give the animal away you don't have any say in what they do with it afterward. (sigh)

Thanks all.
post #6 of 15
Many states regard pets at property...if he's not returning her "property" you can always contact the police and see what they have to say about it. Might spook the guy enough to give the cat up.
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by emrldsky View Post
Many states regard pets at property...if he's not returning her "property" you can always contact the police and see what they have to say about it. Might spook the guy enough to give the cat up.
That's the same thing here too.
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rumpleteazer View Post
I wonder, as her rescuer, if I can demand her back, since I gave her expressly to my sister but I suppose that after you give the animal away you don't have any say in what they do with it afterward.
There is some say. How do you think shelters and rescues enforce some rules in their contracts? That said, I doubt you had a written agreement with her that you could use as proof. But, you may be able to verify with the lawyer (and judge) that you and your sister had a verbal agreement that the cat would be her's and that yes, this is the cat that you rescued. It would probably require that you produce any old vet records if you vetted the cat before rehoming her with your sister and that your sister has vet records as well.
post #9 of 15
Glad that he is soon to be her ex because he sounds like a turd (I can think of a number of other adjectives as well). Hope that everything works out.
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by butzie View Post
Glad that he is soon to be her ex because he sounds like a turd (I can think of a number of other adjectives as well). Hope that everything works out.
I can think of a few too! He went out and got the lawyer in their town whose only goal in a divorce is to make the other party's life miserable.

I think WA regards animals as property too but WA is a community property state which means that each person is entitled to exactly half of whatever they own. I don't know how that applies to property from before the marriage. I tried to tell her to go get the cat before he was served with the papers but since nobody listens to me...(I also tried to warn her about what an abusive jerk he was before she married him but like I said...)

The good thing is that when they separated, he moved into a place with two other guys and one of them LOVES that cat! I was worried about her safety until I heard how well this guy takes care of her. So at least she's safe. But I wouldn't put it past the ex to ignore her or just turn her out if things didn't go his way.

No word yet but the lawyer has filed papers. So much for our paperless society! thanks everyone!
post #11 of 15
Good luck to Abbey on how this turns out. I hope it gets sorted soon.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi. I just thought you guys would like to know that my sister's soon to be was-band finally gave Abby back to my sister. Apparently keeping her was "too expensive and annoying." Aww, boo hoo, poor baby. I think he also didn't get what he wanted out of my sister which was a temper tantrum (that's his department). So Abby is finally back with her meowmy

Interestingly, WA state made law change just after my sister got her cat back that ruled that pets are property. I'm not sure how that changes things because then you just get into arguments over whose property it is, given that we're a community property state, but the news said it was a big change.
post #13 of 15
I'm glad Abby is back home where she belongs.
post #14 of 15
never mind - I deleted my post as it was no longer applicable.
I am glad she is back with your sister! Now that makes me think... one more contract to sign before tying the knots! NOBODY is taking my kitties away from me!
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rumpleteazer View Post

Interestingly, WA state made law change just after my sister got her cat back that ruled that pets are property. I'm not sure how that changes things because then you just get into arguments over whose property it is, given that we're a community property state, but the news said it was a big change.
Community property is usually property accumulated during the marriage. By stating that pets are property, that means that they are included in the division of property. It would have made your sister's life easier because there would have been evidence (like vet records) that Abby was hers before the marriage.
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