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Who Keeps the Pet After a Divorce in Illinois?

 Posted on March 27, 2024 in Divorce

Wheaton, IL divorce lawyer

Divorce can be a very difficult and emotional time for couples, especially when it comes to deciding who keeps the beloved family pet. In Illinois, pets are considered marital property under the law, which means they are subject to the same property division rules as any other asset. Understanding how pets are classified as marital property in Illinois is crucial to navigating the process of determining pet ownership post-divorce.

At The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C., we understand that divorce is often among the most challenging processes anyone will ever go through. As a result, we tailor our client-focused legal representation to ensure that all of our clients feel supported throughout the entirety of the process. Whether you need a guiding hand or a shoulder to lean on, clients can trust that our compassionate attorneys will get the job done.

Pets as Marital Property in Illinois

As stated previously, pets are categorized as marital property in Illinois, similar to possessions like cars, furniture, and bank accounts. This classification means that pets are subject to equitable distribution laws during a divorce, where the court aims to divide the property fairly between the spouses. While pets hold significant emotional value to their owners, the law views them as assets to be allocated during the property division process.

Factors Considered in Pet Ownership Determination

When determining pet ownership after a divorce in Illinois, courts may consider various factors to decide who gets to keep the pet. These factors can include who purchased or adopted the pet, who primarily cared for the pet during the marriage, and who can provide the best environment for the pet post-divorce. While emotions often come into play when deciding pet ownership, the court’s focus remains on the classification of pets as marital property.

Negotiating Pet Custody May Include Finding a Resolution Outside of Court 

In some cases, divorcing couples may opt to negotiate a pet custody arrangement outside of court. This could involve creating a shared custody schedule, where both parties have designated time with the pet, and reaching a mutual agreement on pet ownership. By working together to find a resolution that considers the well-being of the pet, couples can avoid a potentially contentious legal battle over pet ownership.

Contact Our Trusted DuPage County, IL Divorce Attorneys

For compassionate legal guidance that you can trust, contact the well-regarded Wheaton, IL divorce lawyers with The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C.. Call 630-462-9500 for a private consultation.

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