Q: My ex gave me a dog as a Christmas present. We lived together with the dog for 3 years, He's claiming rights to her now.
After he gave her to me I paid all the vet bills, micro chipping, injuries, dog food etc... She was bought off Craig's list in cash by his mother. I have her in my possession now but I'm scared of what he's capable of doing now. We originally made a verbal agreement to share her but he changed his mind after the fact and kept her for 3 weeks, he recently gave me custody of her and is demanding her back. What should I do next?
A: If he gave her to you, then she’s yours. The only way he can legally get her back and keep her is if he takes you to court and wins. If you have all other documents in your name then you will have a good chance at court if he takes you to court.
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A: I have personally litigated a number of cases with very similar fact patterns. In my last case, the girlfriend claimed that the puppy was a gift, but in court we proved that it was not, because the boyfriend had signed an adoption contract, the microchip was in his name and the vet records listed him as owner and she was just an emergency contact. Your facts seem to support your claim of ownership, unless the mother who paid will testify that she paid for the dog to be a gift from her to her son, and if he refutes your claims of gift. For all issues like this where litigation is likely, I highly recommend having a consultation with a lawyer who has litigated and won numerous pet custody cases in Colorado, such as myself.
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