After the separation: who gets to keep the common dog??

After the separation: who gets to keep the common dog??

A woman from stuttgart demands from her ex-husband the return of the common dog. The couple has been separated since 2016. In the past two years, the dog lived with the husband. Now the stuttgart court has made a decision: the divorced woman is not allowed to force her to hand over the dog.

Pets are considered property according to civil code

Generally, a divorce is a very emotionally charged matter. However, if the household is divided during the official execution of the divorce, this can become a major issue of dispute between the two parties.

According to article 1361a of the civil code, a dog, just like all other jointly acquired objects during the marriage, such as household goods, furniture or the car, is part of the common household goods. This is to be divided between the spouses in the divorce approximately equally.

Welfare of the animal is not in the foreground

In contrast to the common children, the well-being of the animal is not in the foreground in the case of a divorce, since the animal is only part of the common household goods. This means that it is not important for the decision where the pet should live, with which spouse it would supposedly be in better hands.

In the current case of a divorced woman from stuttgart, who wanted to force her ex-partner to hand over the labrador dog they had bought together before the marriage, the court decided that she was not entitled to the dog.

Although the woman is said to have cared for the dog like a child, the only decisive factor is that her ex-husband is noted as the sole owner of the dog in the surrender contract of the animal aid society.

Some time ago there was a similar ruling in oldenburg – but with a different outcome: after divorce: who gets custody of the dog??

Who is legally entitled to the pet??

If a spouse can prove that the animal is in his or her general ownership, it is not to be included in the household list, which is later divided between the parties.

A proof of general property is provided if a partner has already brought the pet into the marriage. Furthermore, a spouse can claim the pet if he or she can prove that he or she was the sole caretaker of the pet before the separation and divorce.

There is no right of access

Of course, the parties can agree on a private right of access. However, this has no legal existence.

In the same way, the person who continues to care for the common dog does not have the right to claim maintenance from the ex-partner.

If the parties do not agree privately on the remaining pet, impartial courts can make an appropriate decision on the division of the household goods.

Also interesting: not on a leash? Walkers were allowed to defend themselves against free-roaming dogs


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