When going through a divorce, the last thing you want to think about is how to divide up your furry family members. Unfortunately, pet ownership can be an intricate part of a divorce. Studies show that divorce affects half of all American marriages, yet 62% of households are home to at least one beloved pet.
You might have questions about visitation rights, personal property, and who will ultimately become the pet owners. To help navigate these difficult and often emotional issues, it is important to consult with a divorce attorney in Orland Park. They will be able to provide legal advice and representation throughout the divorce process.
Divorce and Pet Custody Laws
The first step in understanding pet ownership during a divorce is to understand the law. Depending on your state’s divorce laws, pets may be treated either as marital property or as separate property. Marital property is any asset that was acquired during the marriage and it can include the family pet.
Separate property is any asset that was acquired before the marriage or after separation and these assets are generally not subject to division in a divorce. However, if a pet was acquired during the marriage and is considered marital property, it can be divided between the spouses in a divorce settlement agreement.
Who Gets the Pets?
The next step in determining pet ownership during a divorce is to determine who will get the pets.
This can be a tricky issue, as it involves both legal and emotional considerations. Before deciding who will get the pets, it is necessary to consider both spouses’ attachment to the pet and their ability to care for the pet. Research conducted by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) shows that a whopping 80% of pet owners consider their animals to be an integral part of their family.
In some cases, it is best to reach an agreement on who will get the pets and create a written pet custody agreement for the division of pet ownership. This agreement should cover who will have primary custody, visitation agreements, financial responsibility for veterinary care, and medical decisions.
If the spouses are unable to reach an agreement, a court may be called upon to help decide who will get the pets. During this process, the court will consider factors such as which spouse has been the primary caretaker of the pet, any prenuptial agreements regarding the pets, and the best interests of the pet.
The Ability to Care for the Pet is a Key Consideration
This is, perhaps, the most important consideration when deciding who gets the pets. The court will look to see who is best able to care for the pet physically and financially. What this means is that the court will consider who has adequate living space, financial means, and emotional stability to provide a good home for the pet.
The court will also consider who can provide the best environment for the pet and any other broader considerations, such as how well the spouses are able to communicate and cooperate in making decisions about the pet.
No matter who gets custody of the pet, it is crucial to ensure that there is an agreement in place that sets out the custodial arrangements. This will provide security and clarity for both spouses, as well as the pet itself.
Your Pet's Best Interests in Mind
When it comes to dividing up your furry family members, the 'best interest' test is usually the benchmark. This means that you should not hesitate to seek legal advice and representation from experienced divorce attorneys or family law attorneys to ensure that your pet is given the best possible care.
Our experienced divorce attorneys can help guide you through the Illinois divorce process and provide creative solutions to ensure that the division of pet ownership is equitable for all parties involved. They can also help you draft a custody agreement that ensures your pet’s safety and well-being.
The most important thing to remember is that your furry family members are not just pieces of property but beloved family members.
Other Factors for Determining Pet Custody
In addition to the legal and emotional factors that go into determining pet ownership during divorce, there are some other important aspects of the divorce process that should be considered. For example, if the pet is a service animal or emotional support animal, then additional considerations must be taken into account.
Moreover, if the pet is considered a financial asset or therapy animal, then specific arrangements must be made regarding the division of such type of property.
Finally, animal advocates may become involved in the divorce process in order to ensure that the pet is properly treated and cared for.
Tips for Negotiating Pet Ownership Outside of Court
Negotiating pet ownership outside of court is often the best approach. Doing so allows both parties to come to an agreement without having to present their case to the family court. Mediation, negotiation, and/or collaborative law can all be effective methods of negotiating pet ownership during a divorce.
To help ensure that both parties are satisfied, it is important to stay focused on the bigger picture and work together to come up with creative solutions that are in the best interests of both parties and the pet. Also, it is vital to keep the lines of communication open and to be mindful of the other party’s emotional attachment to the pet.
As a general rule of thumb, you should seek out experienced divorce attorneys to help with the negotiation process. They can provide legal advice and assistance in reaching an agreement that is fair for all parties involved.
How to Win Your Pet's Custody in Divorce
When it comes to winning pet custody in divorce, it is important to remember that the court will always place the best interests of the pet first. Therefore, it is important to demonstrate to the court that you are the best-suited custodian for the pet. This means providing evidence of your emotional attachment to the pet, your ability to care for the pet financially, and any history of providing stable living conditions for the pet.
Furthermore, you should demonstrate to the court your ability to cooperate with the other party when it comes to making decisions about the pet. This will show the court that you are willing to reach an agreement without having to take it to litigation.
Finally, do not hesitate to seek out experienced family law attorneys to help you navigate the divorce process and understand your rights. Tommalieh Law Firm has experienced divorce attorneys and family law attorneys who can provide legal advice, representation, and compassionate service throughout the entire process.
The division of pet ownership during divorce can be a complicated and emotionally challenging process. However, with the right legal advice and representation, you can ensure that your pets are given the best possible care. CALL OR TEXT us at (708) 232-0017 for more information about how to secure pet ownership during the divorce.