After their divorce was final, Blake sued his ex-wife Jennifer for slander.
Blake: I gave her everything she asked for — the house, alimony, custody, child support and one-half of my retirement and my other assets. The only thing I wanted was the dog. I really didn’t think the dog would be an issue. I was the one who had wanted the dog, and I was the one who took care of him. We had that dog almost six years, and during that time Jennifer never bought one can of dog food or took the dog for a walk. When I went out of town with my job, I either had to pay for the dog to stay in a kennel or drop the dog off with at my brother’s house. She always said she wasn’t going to take care of my kids and my best friend.
Blake said there was nothing in the divorce settlement about the dog because, and he assumed that when he moved out the dog would come with him. But as they were leaving the attorney’s office, just after signing the final divorce settlement papers, Jennifer brought up the subject of the dog.
Blake: I hope you don’t think you are going to take the dog with you when you move out. The dog is staying at the house. The kids want him to stay, and I am not letting you take him.
Blake said he told her he had already discussed it with the kids, and they had no problem with the dog coming with him and with their coming over to see him anytime they wanted.
Blake: She said she wasn’t going to let me take the dog, and that if I tried to do so she would file legal action against me. If I had thought she had any attachment to the dog, or had thought my kids had a problem with me taking the dog, I would have been happy to let him stay at the house. But I knew Jennifer only wanted the dog to spite me. Since I agreed to all of her other demands, the dog was the only way she had to try to make my life difficult. I contacted my lawyer and told him what she had said about the dog. He advised me to go ahead and take my dog with me when I moved. He said he felt confident that if Jennifer followed through on her threat to file legal action, I would be allowed to keep the dog.
Jennifer did not file legal action against Blake, but she found another way to get back at him.
Blake: She started a rumor that I was having sex with the dog. She told several versions of the story. She said she had caught me in the act and had decided to end the marriage when I refused to get rid of the dog and seek counseling. She told other people that she came across some pictures I had hidden of me having sex with the dog. And she told other people that she found a journal I was keeping that included entries about having sex with the dog. She told several of our friends and family members that the reason I had agreed to give her everything she wanted in the divorce was because I was afraid she would tell people my secret. She also told them the children were devastated by my decision to take the dog, and that I fought harder to keep the dog than I did to get custody of our children. Jennifer asked the people she told these lies not to say anything to me because I had threatened to kill myself if anyone ever found it.
Jackie’s Note: The cases posted in Courthouse Chronicles are real-life court cases that involve real people. For the record, I do not include any of the cases I have actually worked. If I hired a lawyer to represent me I would not want him or her writing about me so that’s why I don’t write about any of my clients. My research for these posts consists of sitting in the back of courtrooms listening to the testimony and witnessing the antics of other lawyers, their clients and people who chose to represent themselves.
Photo Credit: Visual Hunt