What to do if my girlfriend and I are splitting and we both want our dog?

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What to do if my girlfriend and I are splitting and we both want our dog?

My girlfriend and I are splitting after 4 years together and we both want our 2 year old dog. The dog was not a gift that one of us gave to the other. I paid for the dog but the breeder would only put one of us on the registration. Since at the time the breeder had more contact with my girlfriend her name was put on the dog’s registration papers. Who rightfully/legally owns the dog?

Asked on June 27, 2012 under Business Law, Florida

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Here is the issue. In most states, the dog would be considered chattel.  Ownership in a non-marital situation would probably go by the way of who owns the papers. Here, it would be your girlfriend.  If you two are breaking up, you can attempt to go to court and ask for a sort of custody/visitation agreement wherein you can share in the custody of the dog and visitation rights, much the same way as children are.


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