Saint Marys, WV asked in Animal / Dog Law for Ohio

Q: Dog custody in dissolution

My husband and I are going through a dissolution. We had 2 dogs, he got one and I got the other. I was finally able to see the dog he has and his nails are completely grown out and his undercoat is matted. My ex moved to a tiny apartment so he has nowhere to run and play. I was always the primary care giver. I have photos and messages. Should I show this to the judge the day of our court date and chance the judge not caring or taking me seriously or should I just keep him the next time I’m able to see him? Is there anything he can legally do considering he’s my dog too? He isn’t registered. Court is in Lawrence county Ohio.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Anthony C. Satariano
Anthony C. Satariano

A: Your question indicates you are going through a dissolution. In a dissolution, the division of all property (including pets) must be agreed on ahead of time. In other words, the agreement must address the dogs, the judge will not make a decision on who gets the dog that day.

Further, if the agreement/order says your ex gets the dog and you "keep him" next time, that places you in contempt of court for violating the order.

You will have to negotiate with your ex to be given possession of the dog.

Nicholas P. Weiss agrees with this answer

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