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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70694
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I got a kitten a few months ago while living with my boyfriend

Customer Question

I got a kitten a few months ago while living with my boyfriend at his mother's house. I picked her, contacted the breeder, arranged the deposit etc. however my boyfriend insisted on paying for her as a birthday present to me. We have now split up and I have taken her with me but he is threatening legal action and accusing me of theft. What can I do? Can he take me to court?
Thank you.
M
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
To whom is she registered at the vet and with the microchipper?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

She is registered in my name at the vet but hasn't yet been microchipped.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
The short answer is that he can. He can seek a declaration of ownership.
The court would look at things like who paid for an animal, to whom it is registered, who provides care etc.
The risk here though is that a court would say that the kitten is a jointly owned animal and order that he be sold and the proceeds split between you. That is very common with relationship disputes.
He will almost certainly be saying that this was a joint purchase since he paid and the kitten was living with him at his mother's address and that probably would be accepted.
Whether he will or not is another matter.
I'm very sorry but that is the reality.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I need to register her with my local vet and get her micro chipped. Would doing this now go against me? Or can I continue to look after her as normal?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Not really. It might suggest that you are doing it to head off an action but it doesn't really change much.
The microchipping company will change the ownership if he gets an order in his favour anyway.
The fact that you are looking after her now doesn't change anything at all.
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
My ex is still threatening legal action but hasn't yet done anything. But now he is asking me to take her to see him but I'm worried he'll snatch her. Will it go against me if I don't? And where do I stand if he does take her from me?
Thank you
Maxine
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
It doesn't make much difference either way.
If he does snatch you then you could make the same application to court that he can.
The problem here is that a court could say she is a jointly owned asset.