La Habra, CA asked in Animal / Dog Law for California

Q: Just got out of 2.5 year relationship(n. At the beginning we got a small poodle. Do I have any rights to visit the dog ?

Is there a mediation program in California to help negotiate these things ? I do not want to take the dog away from her. Just want to take for walks occasionally and be a positive presence in its life. She promised me this would be ok but now she is taking back her promises due to selfish reasons.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Animal & Dog Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, pets are considered property under the law, which means that ownership rights are determined by who legally owns the pet. If the pet was acquired during the relationship and there is no written agreement or evidence indicating that you shared ownership, it's likely that your ex-partner would have sole ownership of the dog.

However, if you can provide evidence that you contributed to the care and ownership of the dog, such as paying for veterinary bills or spending time caring for the dog, you may be able to make a case for shared ownership or visitation rights.

In terms of mediation, there are several options available in California to help resolve disputes related to pets, including mediation through a private mediator or a court-sponsored program. These programs are designed to help parties reach a mutually agreeable solution to pet-related disputes, including visitation or shared ownership arrangements.

It's important to approach the situation with an open mind and a willingness to compromise, and to seek the advice of an attorney or mediator to help navigate the legal and emotional aspects of the situation. Ultimately, the best outcome is one that prioritizes the well-being of the dog and takes into account the needs and wishes of all parties involved.

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