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Question about a divorce. In the decree it did not mention

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Question about a divorce. In the decree it did not mention the pet bought during the marriage. It was in wifes name; however, she left and I have been taking care of pet for 6 months, plus the time she was never around while married. If dog was not mentioned in decree who has ownership?
Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.

Good afternoon. If the pet was bought during the marriage, it would certainly be considered a martial asset, something which you both would share a legal interest in. If the divorce is final and she has left, not returning to care for the dog or inquiring about obtaining it and taking it with her, there could be a presumption that it is yours. An argument could be made that she abandoned the property and as a result, you became the sole owner. In an ideal situation, you would be able to reach out to her, obtain something in writing, acknowledging that she does not want the dog and you can keep it. If you did not want to reach out and just leave things alone, you could continue to keep the dog and would not need to turn it back over to her, unless she decided to proceed through court and have it ordered by the Judge. Even then, based upon the facts which you stated above, it would appear that she has not invested any time, care or money into the dog, after all this time and there may be other motives, if she sought the dog. If there are any issues with it being in her name, the court would then have to step in and order that ownership be changed solely into your name.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So basically leave it like it is. If she pushes and now all of a sudden wants the dog make her take it to court. Prove how she hasnt spent any money on dog (vet bills, food, etc) during time of marriage and especially during our separation. She hasnt even visited the dog since December and the divorce became final June 3. It was today that she asked to see him and threatened to take it to court if I didnt. Just seems odd to all of a sudden care for the dog.


If I wanted to get the ownership changed over in court what steps would I need to procede.

At this point, you likely would need to go back to court and seek to modify the final divorce decree, since this is something that should have been addressed. There is nothing wrong with being cordial and allowing her to see/visit the dog but if she wanted to take the dog with her, that is a different story, since you have no way of knowing if you will get it back, absent order of the court. You and her can agree to share custody of the dog and split the cost of care but based upon what you described above, she may not be inclined to do so.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok just wondered, last thing. We probably made a mistake and did a no fault divorce and no property was split in the decree. The only thing in the decree is that she had to pay an amount for half the credit card bills thats it. With it not being in the decree didnt know if she was giving up ownership of dog.

There would not be a presumption that she was and she could make the same argument against you, by not having it in the decree. Like I said above, in an ideal situation, you and her could work this out between the two of you and not have to go back or involve the court. If it is not possible, then you would have to go back and likely modify the decree and the responsibility of who will pay what for the dog and who will get it on days and times.
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