3 Things to Know About Divorcing With Pets in Kane County
Pets are not just property to their owners. They are companions. Many consider them family members. Further, they are living, breathing, feeling, beings. People love their pets in a way that they do not love their couch, rug, or even car in most cases. If you and your spouse adopted a pet together and are now getting a divorce, you will need to address who will have custody of the pet and who will provide for its needs. A qualified divorce attorney can help you work out your pet custody concerns as one important part of resolving your divorce.
What Should I Know About Pet Custody Issues in a Divorce?
In some divorce cases, one spouse is happy to let the other take “their” pet. In others, the spouses adopted a dog together, or have both grown attached to a cat over the years. Neither spouse may be willing to completely part with their beloved pet, so animal custody can become quite a contentious issue for some couples. Fortunately, there are solutions in Illinois. If you are faced with pet custody issues in your divorce, you should know:
- Joint custody - Illinois courts can now grant joint custody over a pet. Both spouses must be able to care for the pet and must agree to share custody. You and your spouse would need to reach an agreement somewhat similar to a parenting plan. This agreement would cover who will have physical possession of the pet and when, in addition to who will be financially responsible for the pet’s needs. Veterinary care can be quite expensive, so it is important that this is carefully addressed.
- Pet’s well-being - Just as you may be emotionally attached to your pet, your pet may be emotionally attached to you in return. Judges in Illinois can now consider both the emotional as well as physical well-being of the pet itself in deciding who the pet should spend time with going forward. Whether you or your spouse is physically able to adequately care for the pet independently will also be important.
- Property - Legally, pets are still considered property, although many pet owners do not like to think about it that way. Equitable division of property principles can come into play.
Addressing ownership of a pet in divorce cases can become quite complex. You may need a skilled attorney to help you find an arrangement that works in your case.
Call a Kane County Divorce Attorney
If you are going through a divorce in Kane County, The Law Offices of Douglas B. Warlick & Associates can guide you from start to finish. Our experienced Geneva divorce lawyers will help you tackle any challenge that may arise in your divorce proceedings. Call us at 630-232-9700 for a free consultation.