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Ask Max Lowry Your Own Question

Max Lowry
Max Lowry, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1457
Experience:  LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
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My daughter and her ex partner are arguing over the dog. He

Customer Question

My daughter and her ex partner are arguing over the dog. He originally paid for the dog in December 2009 but she has paid to insure it and paid for the vet bills. She has competed it at agility and paid to feed it. In December, last year, he texted her and said to leave with the dog but has now changed his mind and is witholding some of her belongings unless she lets him have the dog. How does she stand legally regarding this, please?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Max Lowry replied 3 years ago.

Max Lowry :

Hi, welcome to Just Answer. I will help you with your question.

Max Lowry :

Was there any agreement as to who should own the dog?

JACUSTOMER-mxoobhlz- :

No. When I asked him who owned the dog he said that he did as he paid for it. However, my daughter has paid all costs for the dog. There is a long history here regarding this man. He has controlled our daughter for nearly ten years. She is now 28 and when she left him before, 4 years ago he stalked her and our daughter got the police involved. It seems to me that he is using the dog as a control tool to get her back, or to stay with him. He changes his mind and she has actually got a text from him saying to take the dog and leave.

Max Lowry :

Okay - a dog, believe it or not, is treated in law as being a normal piece of property. This means, whoever bought it, would own it (unless you agreed otherwise).

Max Lowry :

So, if he paid for it, then he's likely to be the owner of it, and paying vets bills etc., doesn't mean that she will own it.

Max Lowry :

It would mean, however, that she might have a claim against him for the bills etc. that she has paid.

Max Lowry :

However, when he said she could leave with the dog, she presumably did, and might now be able to say that the dog was gifted to her.

Max Lowry :

He cannot then take back the gift when he changes his mind.

JACUSTOMER-mxoobhlz- :

So could she be made to give the dog back even though he's using it as instrumental in controlling her? Could we offer to pay for the dog? or does that strengthen his case?

Max Lowry :

Offering to pay, if done openly, would hinder her case. Her case would be that he gifted the dog to her.

Max Lowry :

She could make a "without prejudice" offer to buy the dog, so a Court wouldn't see this if it went to a hearing.

JACUSTOMER-mxoobhlz- :

What is our best course of action

Max Lowry :

Best action is probably to make the without prejudice offer, but argue the dog was a gift when they separated. And ignore him until Court proceedings are issued (if they ever are!)

JACUSTOMER-mxoobhlz- :

He is driving past our house. The dog knows the sound of his (used to be their) car and runs to put its head through the gate. His intention, is, I believe to just take the dog when we're not on the spot. This is a very stressful situation. We have been here before with him stalking her and it is most unpleasant. Do you have any comments regarding this, please?

Max Lowry :

It could amount to harassment, it sounds like it to me. As such, the police could be involved, and they would warn him not to do anything that may cause her harassment in the future. This might be a useful starting point with dealing with him. Harassment now is, you see, a criminal offence.

JACUSTOMER-mxoobhlz- :

Would it be wise to tell the police the story as it is now?. (They have records on what happened before). If he did take the dog from our property would we have any rights to get it back?

Max Lowry :

Yes, I would be open and honest, you dont want to be accused of misleading them! You have the moral and legal high ground, so no point in changing that unnecessarily.

Max Lowry :

And yes, if he took the dog, you could apply contact the police to report it as theft, and/or you could issue proceedings in the civil courts for it to be returned to you.

JACUSTOMER-mxoobhlz- :

Would there be any benefit in getting a solicitor to write him a letter saying that he had to stop harrassment over the dog and get him to sign a document agreeing to relinquish his claim on the dog and to stop all contact with our daughter?

Max Lowry :

You could do this, but it depends on his resolve really, it might be intimidating enough to do the job, but then it'll cost you do get the letter done. The police are free.

JACUSTOMER-mxoobhlz- :

Ok. thank you. We will go to the police tomorrow and go down that route first. If that isn't satisfactory can I come back to you at any point?

Max Lowry :

Yes, you can always come back to me.

JACUSTOMER-mxoobhlz- :

Do I just come on this website again and ask to speak to you?

Max Lowry :

Yes, just come to back to this page.

JACUSTOMER-mxoobhlz- :

Ok thank you very much for your help. Have a good evening.

Max Lowry :

Thank you too. Please remember to rate my answer for me and leave good feedback. Thanks again.

Max Lowry :

Please do remember to rate my answer as highly as you can.

Max Lowry :

Do you need any further information?

Max Lowry :

Don't forget to rate the answer for me.

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