Working in the Family Team, I am consulted and instructed by a diverse range of individuals, whose family and personal circumstances do not always reflect the “married couple with 2.4 children” stereotype that many people perceive Family lawyers deal with. As a team, we pride ourselves on working with individuals from all walks of life, whether they are cohabiting, engaged, in a civil partnership, married, separated, single parent families or anyone else.
For this reason, I do not think we will often be taken by surprise when presented with any individual’s background. However, I was surprised by an article I read in the Metro earlier this week, in which a woman from London purported to have married her pet dog. Whilst the circumstances are certainly new to me, the article did reflect a pattern I have previously recognised, as many of my clients choose to remain single for a number of years following the breakdown of a relationship, as the woman in the article did. The woman in question had been married around 20 years ago, but the relationship ended within a few months and since that point her only “true love” was her dog. The article reported that after the dog accepted the woman’s proposal by wagging his tail, the pair travelled to Croatia where they went through a wedding ceremony in front of 200 people. It is worth noting that this union will not be recognised in law.
This isn’t the only dog I have come across in the context of my work this week, as the Law Gazette reported that a Southampton District Judge would keep his Labrador under his desk during hearings!
Also, I have found that when couples separate, there are often issues about who keeps the dog or other family pet. It therefore seems that dogs are an important part of the family and that people are willing to take unusual measures where they are concerned – and I have previously blogged on the arguments that often arise regarding family pets on separation.
You can contact Justine Osmotherley from our Family team on 0113 336 3323 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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