Pet Custody Attorney
Pets bring great joy to our lives with faithful companionship and are most often considered a member of the family. While many married couples think of their beloved animals much like children, the Illinois divorce laws have established new guidelines regarding pets and divorce. If a pet is an important part of your family and divorce is on the horizon, you should speak with a pet custody attorney to learn your rights as newly defined in the Illinois legislature.
Effective January 1, 2018, Illinois law (Public Act 100–0422) provides detailed guidelines for the possession and allocation of responsibility of companion animals owned jointly by a divorcing couple. The new provisions most commonly refer to the family dog but also pertains to all companion animals including cats and horses. This can get especially complicated for animals with a high monetary value such as show dogs and cats or racehorses.
This does not mean that animals are treated like children with terminology such as custody is not used when deciding the allocation of pets. Companion animals are still referred to as assets, although the court now takes into consideration what is in the best welfare of the animal. This assessment is quite different than the way all other assets are treated during property division. For example, the court does not award the family car to the person that changed the oil or washed it on a regular basis.
When the possibility of divorce affects the well-being of your pet, you can count on Anderson & Boback to guide you and protect your rights. Our family law attorneys have extensive experience in Illinois divorce law, including the latest divorce laws like pet custody.
Pets and Divorce in Illinois
If you are contemplating or are in the middle of a divorce and worried about what will happen to your pet, you should contact an Illinois pet custody attorney so you’re prepared. Keep in mind, the court’s determination regarding pets in an Illinois divorce is based on several different factors.
Some of the factors the Illinois courts take into consideration when making a determination of pet custody include:
- Ownership papers – any adoption or registration paperwork should be provided that indicates which spouse acquired your pet
- Animal care – make a list of who provided primary care for your pet which includes training and visits to the veterinarian.
Showing the court evidence of your role as your pet’s caregiver is important. Be sure to gather together all records, receipts, and documentation for the caregiving of your pet. To learn more about protecting your relationship with your beloved animal, contact a pet custody attorney at Anderson & Boback. You’ll have a compassionate advocate on your side that understands the important role your pet has in your life.
Contact Anderson & Boback When You Need a Pet Custody Attorney
Contacting a pet custody attorney early in your divorce is beneficial if you feel that possession of your animal will be a contested issue. We are knowledgeable in all family law matters in the state of Illinois and dedicated to helping our clients when the best divorce settlement including ownership of your animal.