Showing posts with label divorce. Show all posts
Showing posts with label divorce. Show all posts

Friday 15 March 2024

Spanish court orders dog support payments by husband to wife on divorce

European country's laws (except UK) regard animals as sentient beings. In those countries where animals are treated as sentient beings under the law you have to make provision for the caretaking of a companion in a court order when you divorce if you can't agree. 

Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Portugal among other European countries recognise animals under their laws as sentient beings. In the UK, companion animals such as dogs and cats are regarded as inanimate objects under the law which is a throwback to many years ago when they were regarded as "chattels" to use an old-fashioned word. It means objects, dead objects, owned by the divorcing couple.

Yes, in the UK dogs and cats are divided up like the television and furniture and if they can't agree then the court makes an order.

But in this story, from Spain, a court in Pontevedra ruled that the father i.e. the husband or former husband must pay €75 a month per child and €40 for the dog per month which represented "half of the extraordinary expenses [and] veterinary bills."

So you can see that in Spain, on divorce, if there is a dog or cat - a member of the family - and if the parties can't agree, a court will make an order for the dog or cat's caregiving in exactly the same way that the court would make an order for the children. It's great and it's a very good example of the power of regarding animals as sentient beings. It dramatically improves animal rights.

In this instance, the dog went to live with the wife which is why the husband has to make this payment to the wife to look after the family dog. It appears that they couldn't decide who the dog should live with so the court also made an order that the dog lives with the wife.

The order was made under the reform of the Animal Welfare Act in 2021. This law facilitates shared custody which hopefully can be arrived at by agreement but if not, as mentioned, the court steps in, makes an order and the order is enforced through subsequent court proceedings if required.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Monday 15 May 2023

Woman believes her cat is her father reincarnated which freaks out her hubby.

The title describes the feelings of a woman who has narrated her story on and it's an interesting one. The 47-year-old woman adopted her cat Benji because she was finding it hard to keep herself busy around the house during the daytime. She rescued him when he was so small that he could fit into the palm of her hand.

My cat is the reincarnation of my late dad but my husband gave him to a shelter without my consent
"My cat is the reincarnation of my late dad but my husband gave him to a shelter without my consent". This is a made-up image by MIKEB as we don't have a picture of Benji or his owner.

They developed a very close relationship and she believes that Benji is the reincarnation of her dad. She said:

This may sound crazy to some, but I really believe Benji is the reincarnation of my dad. When I look into his eyes, I feel something more than a cat. Like a cat born with a human soul. All the timing adds up, it all makes sense to me at least. Even if I am crazy the thought brings me comfort and I don't see anything wrong with it.

But she said that her husband was freaked out by her very close relationship with Benji. She believes that it made him feel uncomfortable particular by the fact that she felt that Benji was the reincarnation of her father. Her father died two years ago and Benji saved her she said. He is the best companion that she could have asked for.

While she was holidaying with her mother and sister her husband took Benji to a shelter (he said that he had taken him to a friend). When she returned from holiday, she couldn't find him and after a frantic search in and around the home, her husband told her that Benji was staying with a friend.

She demanded that he call the person to return her cat as soon as possible. He wouldn't do it but he did tell her who he had given the cat to which allowed her to make enquiries.

The person he said he had given Benji to was a co-worker. The woman contacted the wife of the co-worker and explained what had happened. She asked for Benji back. The co-worker's wife said she didn't know what she was talking about. This enraged her and she eventually discovered that Benji had been taken to a local shelter and there was no co-worker involved at all.

She tracked down the shelter and using all the documentation that she had at her disposal regarding ownership and a good argument, managed to convince the shelter to return Benji to her. Benji is currently with her sister because she has decided to divorce her husband apparently on the back of his behaviour concerning Benji. They might have been some background problems developing in any case.

She can't trust her husband. She logged a report with the local police against him and apparently has filed for divorce. Her family is supporting her in her decision.

The power of the domestic cat is huge when there is a close relationship.

Thursday 1 March 2018

Prenuptial Agreements Concerning Pets

Couples with marriage on their mind are increasingly insisting on a prenuptial agreement which sets out who gets custody of the pets if and when they separate. It's a bit scientific, cold and calculating but it is sensible. Prenuptial agreements help to avoid drawn out litigation at the end of a marriage often with devastating effects upon both parties and children....and pets. It would be nice if there was specific legislation regarding companion cats and dogs based on the animal's welfare and relationship with either party.

Photo of cat copyright Helmi Flick

A survey of 2,000 pet owners by Co-operative Legal Services found that one in 14 couples now has a prenuptial agreement in place regarding their pet. In the past such an agreement was really the domain of the rich and celebrities. Often it was the rich man protecting his wealth against a gold digging woman. Although that may be heavily stereotyping the situation and if so I apologize.

A third of respondents to the survey feared that they would face a tug-of-war over their pets if they split from their spouse. There is an interesting comparison between the age of the typical dog and cat and the average length of the relationship between couples. The average age of the typical dog is from 10 to 15 years and for a cat at about 15 years while the average UK relationship is now only 2 years and 9 months in length!

Tracey Maloney from Co-Operative Legal Services said:

“Pets are increasingly being seen as part of the family and when relationships break down, couples begin to think about who will gain custody of their pet."

Blue Cross, the animal charity, decided to introduce a “pet-nup" scheme in 2014 after they had received 1,000 animals in the past 5 years from owners who had separated from their partner. The scheme has proved to be successful. One reason for the success of the scheme has been attributed to their prominence in divorce settlements between celebrity couples. One such settlement concerned a high-profile tug-of-war between celebrity model Kate Moss and a husband Jamie Hince. The third-party in this tug-of-war was Archie, the family dog.

In 2010 when Cheryl Cole split from her husband footballer Ashley, she retained custody of their two chihuahuas. Apparently, the survey discovered that women were twice as likely as men to say that they would keep their cat or dog if the relationship broke down; 44% said that the animal would live with them compare to 23% of men. I wonder what this tells us about the difference between the sexes? Does it say that women have a greater connection with the family pet or does it say that women demand more of the family “assets" than men on divorce?

Unsurprisingly, not all couples are concerned about managing the situation on their potential split up because it was found that about 40% of owners were unsure of what would happen to their pet if they split up with her partner.

Monday 15 June 2009

Divorce Rates In The UK

These are a few of my thoughts about the divorce rates in the UK. It is probably well known that divorce rates have increased in the UK over many years. The National Statistics website shows us that over period 1971 to about 2003 divorce rates went up from 6 per one thousand married couples to about 13 per one thousand, more than doubling. Over the last 4 years or so the rate has consistently fallen to the 1981 level of about 12 per 1000, still double the old rates.

However, the actual levels of divorce are relatively low. People in the late twenties have the highest divorce rates at 26.6 divorces per 1000 in the age bracket 25-29 (men) and slightly higher for women in the same age bracket at 26.0. This may be due to an increasingly casual approach to marriage from “modern people”.

What this tends to hide is the fact that in 2009, for the first time, there were more single or cohabiting people in the UK than married people. This was an historic moment. There is no doubt that there has been a slow decline in the idea of marriage as a meaningful institution; why bother, just cohabit. The numbers of cohabiting people grew to such significant numbers that the laws in relation to “divorcing” cohabiting couples was tightened up as until recently these couple had to rely on a mish-mash of various laws such as contract and equitable principles to divide possessions including, often, the home. Often under these circumstances the women lost out. Men preferred to not marry.

Divorce laws in the UK tend to be very politically correct and therefore liberally based and some say biased towards the women. For this reason women who are allowed to come to Britain to get divorced did so. In a long marriage of whatever sort, good or bad the women would receive about half of the entire family assets. After such a long period it is deemed that the contributions of each party, in their own way, are about equal subject to some special reasons for dividing assets otherwise. The favourable laws towards women still exist here and that may push up divorce rates in the UK very slightly.

But it also reduces the number of marriages and if the parties are committed to marriage, it increases the number of pre-nuptial agreements. These are agreements entered into before marriage as to division of assets on divorce. Not many people like to do these for obvious reasons and in the UK they are yet to bind the parties legally but there is talk of change.

Although highly politically incorrect one reason for lower marriage levels is the generous benefits system in the UK for single mothers who have children. The concept of marriage and a family has been supplanted by single mother and the maximum number of children as benefits are linked to size of family. Family tax credit has been criticized for breaking up families.

Also politically incorrect is the fact that most divorces are commenced by the wife on the catch all ground of “unreasonable behaviour”. The behaviour of the husband need not be bad, just unpleasant for the wife. Almost any reason is acceptable. It has been argued that women use marriage and divorce in the UK to further themselves financially. The same mentality is involved in lucrative employment tribunal claims for sexual discrimination, it has been argued.

The fact is that as the institution of marriage wanes there is bound to be less divorces as those that do marry will be more committed to it. Whether married or not the most important underlying factor is that families stick together for the benefit of the children where possible and appropriate. There has been a development of a more casual approach to marriage and divorce that has resulted in more divorces.

Divorce rates in the UK will also be coloured by the different cultures in the country that are having an increasingly greater impact on divorce figures due to increased immigration.


The first one is interesting as it is from a Muslim speaker:

divorce rates

The video above is interesting too as it talks along similar lines to this posting. You will have to click on the picture to go to it on YouTube as this is not embedded. Opens in a new window by the way. The video has a religious context.

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