Pet Custody in Illinois Divorces

Illinios divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, DuPage County divorce lawyer,With most estimates putting the divorce rate just below 50 percent, plenty of American parents have gone through the stress of child custody battles. However, what many divorcing couples do not consider is the controversy that can result from fighting for the custody of pets.

According to reports, disputes over pet custody are becoming more common. In fact, one organization has introduced a prenuptial agreement that outlines who keeps the family pets in the event of a divorce.

Who Keeps the Pet in Illinois?

 While any pet-loving family is bound to view their precious dog, cat, or other kind of pet as a member of the family, the state of Illinois views them as a form of property. Therefore, it is important to understand the laws concerning property division.

Generally, there are two types of property: separate and marital. If the pet was the “property” of one specific spouse prior to the marriage, that person will have the legal rights to own the pet after the divorce completes. If the couple acquired the pet after marriage, however, the courts will consider the animal to be marital property.

During a divorce, couples often divide and sell marital property. However, this is not an option with a pet, so the court will consider the following factors:

  • Who cared for the pet most often?
  • Which spouse has the best abilities to provide a home for the pet?
  • Which spouse is most attached to the pet?

As you can see, there is still some ambiguity in this process. An experienced family attorney may be able to provide insight into your particular case.

If you are going through a divorce and want to keep your beloved pets, schedule a consultation with an experienced Aurora divorce lawyer. Contact the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. at 630-409-8184.

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