My husband assulted me, was arrested and released on an unsecured bond under the conditions he would make no contact with me. I reside in the home and he has filed a petition for special relief to make me turn over the family dog to him and pay attorney fee's. Isn't the dog considered marital property and should be handled in divorce court once we file? Is there any law stating I have to turn this dog over to him under this special relief petition and pay his attorney fee's? I am waiting to go to spousal support court since he provided the money for the household. I don't have money to pay for such a hearing and can he even file this type of petition for what is essentially marital property? Must I get an attorney for this aggregious request or can I ignore or postpone it pending divorc
He can file the petition but you can oppose the petition and show that he was arrested and why and that the charges are pending and that he has filed this to further harass you and is violating the terms of his release. Let the judge know you are filing for divorce and if you can file before the hearing even better! Not sure how he would be entitled to attorney fees and in fact you shouldask for your attorney fees and costs in opposing his petition! If you don't have a formal restraining order against him, get one now and please be careful to protect yourself as the TRO is only worth the paper it is written on and sometimes in these situations angry spouses will violate them without regard for the law! See if you can get your petition for a TRO filed and have the hearing in the same court as your husband's petition? You need to get a family law/divorce lawyer to help you!
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Can he file? Sure, anyone can file, but it doesn't mean it won't be tossed out as a frivilous suit. First, there is no reason to pay attorney's fees at this point unless you clearly have done something out in the open that has caused him significant money. The dog is marital property, and part of the divorce action. If the petition is filed, and a hearing is held, let the Court know that there is a divorce action (or have your divorce attorney handle it) and that the divorce matter should handle the dog, not a frivolous special relief claim he is filing just to get the dog. Speak with your attorney or one in your area to assist you to ensure the dog isn't taken due to false facts he may plead. However, if you ignore it, the Court will give him the dog and rule against you, so don't ignore, argue it should be heard in divorce. All the best.
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I am surprised that any lawyer in Pennsylvania would file such a Petition. It doesn't sound like a particularly noble cause, but we are hearing only your side of it. Is there already a divorce case filed? If so, the type of Petition you describe can be filed but I don't know of a procedure, other than an Equity Complaint that would be a standalone proceeding. If your husband can afford to pay for the divorce lawyer and this kind of Petition, you would be best served but retaining a lawyer to defend you, have the Petition dismissed or beat it . You can ask for attorney's fees, just as he can. If the Petition is frivolous or seen as harassment, if can help you in the divorce settlement.. The dog belongs to both of you until a judge says otherwise. Get a lawyer.
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