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Lombard divorce pet ownership lawyerWhen getting a divorce, one of the major issues that must be resolved is how to divide marital assets. Many material possessions can easily be divided, or they may be sold, allowing divorcing spouses to split the proceeds, but some things have the same sentimental value to both parties. Family pets are often among the most hotly disputed “assets.” In fact, since many pets are treated like members of the family, disputes over their ownership can be similar to custody battles over children. When addressing these issues, divorcing couples should understand how the law applies to them.

Recent Changes to Illinois Law

In many states, pets are considered to be a part of marital property, subject to division between divorcing spouses. While this is also true in Illinois, on January 1, 2018, a new law went into effect that may affect pet custody cases. Under this law, a judge should consider a pet’s well-being before awarding ownership of the pet to either spouse. In some cases, this may make disputes over pet ownership similar to disputes over child custody, and couples may ask the judge in their case to make a decision about who should be granted “custody” of the pet.

How Custody is Determined

Even though the term “custody” is not used when referring to ownership of pets, decisions made by a judge in these cases may be somewhat similar to those made in disputes over child custody. A judge will base the decisions about pet ownership on their opinions regarding who can best provide for the animal’s well-being. Either spouse may be able to argue that they were the one who most often took care of the pet in regards to such tasks as grooming, walking, and feeding. They may also claim that they were the one who spent the most time with the pet. Either spouse may provide evidence to back up their claims, such as photos, testimony from friends or family members, or a statement from a veterinarian regarding who brought the pet in for appointments and followed the directions to care for the pet’s needs.


Naperville adoption attorney

If you are getting divorced and have children, your relationship with your ex is not going to be over as soon as the final divorce settlement is signed. If you earn a higher income than your ex-spouse, or if you will have the minority of the parenting time following divorce, you may be required to pay child support that will ensure that your children’s ongoing needs will be met. However, both parents have an obligation to provide financial support for their children, so it is important to make sure all relevant factors are considered when calculating the amount of child support payments. This will ensure that children’s needs will be met and that the parents will both be able to support themselves. Some factors to take note of include:

Net Income for Both Parents

A basic support obligation will be determined that is based on the net income earned by both parents, and this amount is divided between the parents according to their percentage of the total household income. However, when determining the amount of each parent’s net income, it is important to understand what adjustments may be made. For example, if a parent is already paying child support for children from a previous relationship, the amount of this support will be deducted from their gross income.


Naperville adoption attorneyThe choice to end your marriage and get a divorce is a decision that affects your finances, your relationships with family and friends, and most importantly, yourself. It is a decision most people spend a long time contemplating before they decide to announce that they want to separate from their partner. However, when the time does come to discuss divorce with your partner, you will want to make sure you approach this conversation the right way. Here are a few tips to make this discussion go as smoothly as possible:

Timing Is Important

When you know your relationship is beyond reconciliation, you can make the mature decision to end the relationship and detach yourself from your partner. You will likely want to complete the divorce process as smoothly as possible, ending your marriage without hurting your spouse. When you are ready to let your partner know that you would like to get divorced, choose a time when your partner is capable of receiving such emotional news. If they are stressed at work or are going through personal family problems, try to wait until those difficulties are over. While there is no perfect time to announce a break-up, some times are better than others, and you should consider your partner’s feelings as you determine the ideal time to make the announcement.

Find an Intimate Space

Announcing you want a divorce will probably lead to a lot of questions and deep conversation. When planning for this type of discussion, you do not want to be in a crowded space with a lot of noise or somewhere where your children are likely to be present. Ideally, you should block out time for a long conversation in an appropriate place. If you are participating in couples’ therapy, your therapist’s office can provide a safe place to tell your partner you want a divorce. In addition, the therapist can help guide the discussion in a constructive way and work to create healthy boundaries between you and your partner.


DuPage County divorce lawyer workplace privacy

If you are getting a divorce, it is likely to have an impact on all aspects of your life, including many that are unrelated to your relationship with your spouse. Getting divorced while maintaining a full-time job can be difficult, since there are a wide variety of legal and practical concerns that will need to be addressed. There will be important phone calls to answer, paperwork to look over, and emotions to manage, and doing so while putting on a professional front at work can be challenging. Here are some tips to help balance your work and the concerns related to your divorce:

Make a Schedule

Addressing the legal requirements, paperwork, and financial concerns of your divorce can be overwhelming. Going through the divorce process can feel like taking on a second job. However, it is important to keep your divorce proceedings and career separate to avoid jeopardizing your job. Getting divorced costs money, and on top of legal fees, you may need to pay alimony and/or child support. The last thing you want is to suffer career setbacks that may affect your income. 


Naperville adoption attorney

Choosing to adopt a child is a wonderful opportunity and a chance to give a child in need a loving and healthy home. If you are considering adoption, you need to know that the process can be lengthy and complicated. It is important to find a qualified adoption lawyer to help you meet your legal requirements and ensure that nothing will stop you from providing a loving home to an adoptive child.

Naturally, there are differences between raising an adopted child and a biological child. You will likely want to discuss the adoption with your child, and the way you approach these conversations can be different, depending on the child’s age, the circumstances of the adoption, and your relationship with them. While conversations about adoption can be tricky, and they are likely to provoke a variety of questions from a child, planning for how to address these issues can ensure that you approach the subject in the right way, strengthening your relationship with your child. Here are a few tips to make the conversation easier:  

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