blog home Family Law Who Gets Custody of the Dog after Divorce?

Who Gets Custody of the Dog after Divorce?

By Nottage and Ward on June 15, 2012

Pets have become a large part of people’s lives, much more so than in the past; they are considered part of the family, whether it is a dog, cat, rabbit, snake, or even guinea pig. So what happens when a marriage ends? Divorcing couples regularly fight over property division and who gets the kids, but where does pet custody come in?

According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, pet custody issues in divorce have become more and more common, thanks to the evolution of societal views on animal companions. But the courts do not consider pets like children who must have a custody arrangement. Pets are considered property that will be awarded to one spouse or the other unless they come up with their own shared custody agreement.

Pets are also ammunition in some cases. One spouse will use the pet as leverage over the other for financial gain or even spite. Some spouses will end up paying large amounts of money to their soon-to-be-ex in order to have sole custody of their pet. Ultimately, it is best if both spouses can come to an agreement on their own. If a case goes to arbitration, however, there is more of a chance that you can reach an agreeable decision. If your pet’s custody is being worked out in mediation or collaborative divorce, everything is typically taken into account, such as who cared for the pet(s) most of the time, who paid for their food and care, who exercised them, and who paid for/took care of any medical needs.

It may be some time before the court systems see pets as members of the family rather than property, but until then, it is important to be prepared for any and all types of custody issues. If you are planning on getting a divorce in Illinois, the Chicago custody attorneys at Nottage and Ward can help you understand your legal rights and options. Call us today for a consultation at (312) 332-2915.

Related Articles:

Little Black Pearl The Business of ArtWe are proud sponsors of Little Black Pearl Art and Design Center.

To learn more, click here.

Friends of the Chicago RiverProud Member of Friends of the Chicago River.

To learn more, click here.

Client Reviews

Five Stars5 Leslie has been the strongest representation I could ask for

Leslie has been the strongest representation I could ask for in a very complicated, emotional matter. She has continuously looked out for my best interest and the best interest of my son. She is always prompt in getting back to me and in keeping me well informed about my case.

Read More Client Reviews

Avvo Top Contributor Family Law - Jeffrey Knipmeyer
Avvo Top Contributor Divorce Law - Jeffrey Knipmeyer