My ex and I adopted 3 cats while we were together. He insisted on getting the 3rd (who i love with all my heart) and i agreed to it as long as we would split cat care evenly in the event we broke up, which he assured me we would. We broke up a year ago and since then i've taken care of them mostly, he's been splitting costs and feeding them a few days a week, and staying with them if i go out of town. Yesterday, after moving some more of his stuff out of my apartment, he informed me he was abandoning them and leaving me the responsibility entirely, then blocked me. I looked up petimony but it seems like that might be only legitimate through divorce, we were never married but lived together with cats for 3 years. Is there a way i would be able to get him to pay petimony?
When individuals separate or divorce, ideally, they would reach an amicable agreement for the care and custody of their shared animals, including who gets custody of the animals and pays for the animals’ care (which typically is the person who gets custody). When such an agreement is not reached, a lawsuit may be commenced. When couples are divorcing, “petimony” discussions may take place during negotiations regarding the distribution of marital assets. There have not been many cases where “petimony” has been awarded. In one case where the divorcing spouses agreed to share custody of the dog, the court ordered the husband to pay up to $150 a month for the dog’s care. Rudy Giuliani’s ex-wife reportedly sought more than $1000 a month for the family dog’s needs (but her request was denied). Before suing for pet maintenance, one should consider that the party sued may seek custody of the animal even if he/she had not sought custody before.
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