During the process of my divorce recently, I was told by legal workers that I could not claim the part of my salary that I've always used to take care of my dogs in the calculation of the partner alimony that I'd have to pay to my wife.

I created a petition about this here, with the whole story.

To me, this means that they'll subtract money from my salary and give it to my wife, and my dogs will be totally disregarded when they do that. Like they don't exist. If I have no money left to take care of my dogs, I don't know what will happen to them. The best thing I can think of is giving them to an asylum. And then god only knows what they'll do to my senior dogs there.

I contacted the Animal Protection Organization from the Netherlands and referred to this as animal abuse. They told me that this doesn't qualify as animal abuse. So when does it qualify as such?

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    The foundation of your struggles about legality in divorce would possibly be best asked at our site for legal questions The rest of your question seems to be asking about what is the legal definition of animal abuse in the Netherlands which is on topic here. If you find the answer before someone else provides it please share it for others to benefit from. Oct 8, 2015 at 9:28
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    I am very sorry for your struggles. You are in a very difficult situation. However, I'm afraid the issues you present are more ethical than legal. Does your ex have any compassion for your dogs? I can't imagine that some one could live with a pet and not develop feelings for them. Are you able to appeal to her compassion for the animals and ask her to help financially if needed? Thank you for caring so much for your dogs! Oct 8, 2015 at 12:16
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    Unfortunately, I believe that what both the law and the animal protection services will tell you is that if you can't afford to care for the dogs you should find them a new home. The reason you can't afford it is almost certainly a separate question. Definitely take this to the Law area ... and get a lawyer; free legal advice on the net is generally not even worth what you pay for it. Good luck.
    – keshlam
    Oct 8, 2015 at 12:46
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    You can accuse anyone of anything at any time, if you don't mind losing a libel suit... If you ex had custody of the dogs and wasn't feeding them, that would be abuse. Your situation isn't even close to that. Let go of this idea; it doesn't help you.
    – keshlam
    Oct 8, 2015 at 21:16
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    Of course it's not animal abuse. It's your responsibility as the owner to provide for your animals as you can, even in the face of unexpected financial burdens. For instance, if you were suddenly in a car wreck, which required you to pay big hospital bills that made you unable to support you animals, would the person responsible for the wreck be guilty of animal abuse? Of course not, even though they'd be guilty of other things. Is it legal to not consider the expense of your animals when calculating alimony? That, I can't answer.
    – Kai
    Oct 19, 2015 at 15:46

1 Answer 1


It's your responsibility as a pet owner to take proper care of your pets. It is also your responsibility as a pet owner then to ensure you have proper funds to take care of your pets.
In a divorce you lose a percentage of your income, that's part of the consequence.
Pets are not taken into consideration, unless one or the other partner claims ownership in which case they become part of the settlement along with the books, CDs, and everything else.

It is then up to you to ensure that you have the means to take care of any pets you are left with after the divorce, which may mean adopting your own lifestyle to make sure you have enough funds to care for them properly.
Your failure to do that might be animal abuse, the failure of the court to allocate you money to do so certainly is not.

Divorces are messy, and pets often end up getting hurt as a result and abandoned to animal shelters.

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