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New Illinois Pet Custody Law 2018

Posted by Erin Birt | Jan 02, 2018 | 0Comments

There is a new Illinois Pet Custody Law.  Starting January 1, 2018, Illinois Judges can consider the well-being of a pet when awarding sole or joint ownership during a divorce.  Previously, pets were considered property.  The pet, as well as the financial responsibility for the pet, was simply allocated to one spouse, similar to a car.

Factors to Consider

The new law likely allows a judge to consider the following when determining pet ownership:

  1. The pet is a companion animal;
  2. The well-being of the animal;
  3. The primary care-giver for the pet;
  4. The financial ability to care for the pet.

Problems with the New Law

While it may appear straight forward, determining the issue of the well-being of a pet can be complicated. The new law does not define “companion animals” and the factors for “well-being”.  You should consult with our experienced family law and divorce attorney to discuss your best options for pet ownership issues.

Birt Law Divorce Tip

Our divorce tip – gather all of your pet ownership documents, veterinarian records, and pet training/obedience records and schedule a divorce consultation with our office to review your documents and discuss your likelihood of maintaining the ownership of your beloved pet after your divorce.

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Sample

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