Thomas M. Gurewitz, Attorney At Law

Determining who gets the pet in a sticky divorce

When a couple is embroiled in their divorce in the state of Illinois, it is not uncommon to hear about negotiations about their children, their property and their assets. However, a troubling decision that is not often publicized is determining who gets the pet. For families who have beloved animals, what factors play into deciding the pet's fate? Who will he or she live with? Are pets treated like children in regard to their well-being and needs? 

Of course, there are situations where two people may be able to reach an amicable agreement about who gets to keep the pet, but there are plenty of circumstances that require further negotiations to reach a conclusion. According to Psychology Today, there are situations where visitation and shared custody are approved for the spouse who does not have full custody of the pet. In comparison to the past, pets are starting to be treated more like children are in a divorce rather than shared property. 

The Dog People suggest that when a divorce is inevitable, that pet owners take a moment to assess the health and needs of their beloved animal friend. Some of the considerations they should think about include the following:

  • If there are multiple pets, if each shows favoritism to different people, perhaps a multi-split is the best option. 
  • If the pet was originally owned by one of the people, perhaps the animal should remain with its original owner. 
  • If there is one person whose lifestyle is not as functional for owning a dog, perhaps the other spouse should maintain ownership. 

What may be surprising to many people is that one of the most common reasons that people rehome their pets is because of a divorce. 

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • Super Lawyers
  • Preeminent AV | Lexis Nexis | Martindale-Hubbell | Peer Review Rated | For Ethical Standards And Legal Ability
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Lake Country Bar Association
  • American Bar Association | ABA
  • American Academy Of Matrimonial Lawyers | AAML Member
Get My Free Consultation

We Are Here To Help

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

20 N Martin Luther King Jr Ave
Waukegan, IL 60085

Phone: 847-693-7371
Fax: 847-244-7022
Waukegan Law Office Map