Alexandria, VA asked in Tax Law for West Virginia

Q: I went through a divorce and my exhusband gave my dogs away to someone, they paid taxes on and won’t give them back.

I’ve tried to get my dogs back but the police say there’s nothing they can do since these people pay taxes on them. I raised both of these dogs from birth. Is there anything I can do to get my dogs back, please help!

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1 Lawyer Answer

A: If the domestic orders reference the animals you can bring a contempt action. Otherwise you can't prove the animals were not subject to your ex-husband's control to sell. If the animals were listed as property belonging to you or to be transferred to you as part of the property settlement in the divorce proceeding he would be in contempt of a court order.

Your other option is to sue your ex-husband directly for taking your property and selling it.

Both of these options will require an analysis of state and local law and will likely not return your animals as most states protect a buyer in good faith. Your only recourse is likely monetary damages form your ex-husband.

You should consult with an attorney in your county to advise you on your options and potential outcomes.

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