Nancy - posted on 08/10/2009 ( 8 moms have responded )
Does anyone know the legal limits for a non-custodial parent regarding the purchase of pets? I hear parents try to "buy" affection with video games and gadgets, but what about puppies? Especially if the child is encouraged to spend his own money on the pet, which is then intended to return with the child to the custodial parent's home? In our case, we were not consulted about the addition of a new dog. We need to say "no" but feel bad telling our son he can't have a puppy. And in this case, he already has the dog, and will have to find a way to return it!
My step children visit their mother in the summer. Their father has full legal custody, and the kids live with us full time. Their mother has encouraged them to buy pets at her house, last summer a horse, and this summer an expensive purebred puppy. Unfortunately, we already have 3 dogs and 2 cats. We've reached our limit on pets, and it would not be wise to add more. We will most likely have to pay for food and veterinary bills (the dog is not yet spayed). I'm pretty sure the mom is letting them buy pets in an attempt to make their father look like the "bad guy" if he says we don't have room for more pets. It's easy for her to have a puppy for just one week before the kids head home.
I love dogs - which is why I've rescued three of them - but we just cannot take in one more. Am I nuts to say "no"? As I said, we weren't consulted, and it's a bad idea. Also, what can we do to prevent her from buying them more pets, or allowing them to spend their money on animals at her house? Can non-custodial parents make these decisions?