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Arlington Heights division of marital property attorney

According to research by the American Pet Products Association (APPA), 68 percent of U.S. households include at least one pet. Pets are often considered members of the family. Owning a dog, cat, or another animal has social and emotional benefits for adults and children alike. Pets are technically considered property, but under Illinois law, they are treated differently than a house, car, or other physical assets during a divorce. Therefore, it is important for pet owners who are divorcing to understand their rights regarding who gets to keep the family pet. 

Marital Property and Equitable Distribution

Under Illinois divorce law, marital property is divided based on what is fair. This is called “equitable division.” Instead of a 50/50 split of assets, property and assets are split dependent on factors such as the length of the marriage, each spouse's contributions to the marriage, and the decisions made regarding the custody of children. Every divorce is unique, and an arrangement that may work for one couple may not work for another family. 

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Posted on in Divorce

Schaumburg divorce attorney, parental responsibilities, marital property, family pet, pets and divorceThe process of divorce can be difficult and contentious, especially when spouses disagree about how to divide assets and debts and/or allocate parental responsibility. While a lot of attention is paid to issues like the best interests of the children of divorcing parents and what is considered marital property, one issue that sometimes gets overlooked during divorce is what to do with family pets.

While cats, dogs, and other animals are not human, many people consider them to be part of the family, and treating them like another piece of property to divide often does not seem right.

Illinois law was recently updated to reflect these attitudes, and some additional considerations are now given to pets when determining their ownership during divorce.

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