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Who Gets the Family Dog or Cat in an Illinois Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

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.

Avoiding Litigation

Rather than dragging out the process in front of a judge, many couples will be able to reach an agreement outside of the courtroom. Even if both sides are not willing to budge at first, a divorce mediator can help you to come to terms that will work for both parties and save everyone involved a lot of time and money.

Protect Your Rights By Contacting an Orland Park Divorce Attorney

If you do not want to lose rights to your beloved pet, you should contact Anderson & Associates, P.C. With an experienced Tinley Park divorce lawyer on your side, you will be more likely to keep custody of your pet. Call our office at 708-226-9904 to set up a free consultation today. 




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