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Tinley Park divorce and pets lawyerIn the not-so-distant past, many people would have laughed at the idea of a pet’s custody being decided in court as part of a divorce settlement. However, last year, Illinois was the second state to pass a law stating that pet custody can indeed be determined in court, based on what the judge feels is best for the pet. Rather than still treating the pets as property, like an inanimate object or financial asset, your family pet may now be the subject of a custody case.

Proving You Are the Superior Pet Parent

Much like in a child custody agreement, judges will now have the authority and responsibility to consider the best living situation for the pets in a divorce case. If your soon-to-be-ex-spouse is ready to fight for custody, you will need to be prepared to prove your worth as a pet owner. Questions such as who took the animal to the vet, who typically cares for the pet, who has the better-suited home for the pet, and more may be considered. You will want to gather evidence, as you would with any other contested part of your divorce, to prove that you are the better pet parent or that the other party cannot give your animal friend the life that he or she deserves.

Coming to an Agreement

In some cases, divorced spouses may end up having to split custody, just like they would with children. In these cases, it is also a good idea to reach a legal agreement ahead of time about who will pay for vet bills and make decisions about veterinary care, where the pet will stay when either or both spouses will be traveling, etc.

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Posted on in Divorce

Orland Park alimony attorneyA tax policy related to divorce and in place for seven decades will end at the end of this year as part of the federal tax overhaul of 2017. For divorces after Dec. 31, those who pay spousal maintenance can no longer deduct alimony payments from their taxes. Also, maintenance recipients will no longer declare alimony as taxable income. 

Because this change to the tax code is expected to reduce the amount of money divorced couples have on hand to split between them, divorce lawyers say they have seen a noticeable increase in filings as the year-end deadline approaches.

How Alimony Works with New Law

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1917 that alimony was not tax deductible, a rule that changed in the 1940s. The new law will pay a small portion of the $1.5 trillion in tax cuts scheduled over the next decade, with $6.7 billion added to the U.S. Treasury.

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