Going through a divorce can be a difficult and emotional process for everyone involved. There are many decisions that need to be made regarding the division of property and financial obligations. In addition, many couples find themselves in disagreement about who should keep the family pets after a divorce. Your pets are an important part of your life, so it’s natural to be concerned about their well-being after your divorce. At Andrea Heckman Law, we’re here to help you understand who has the rights to family pets during an Illinois divorce and how our team can help during this process.
In order to decide which spouse keeps the pets during a divorce, a court will examine if the pets are considered marital or non-marital property. Marital property is anything that is determined to be owned by both spouses. In Illinois marriages, most property that was acquired during the marriage, regardless of whose name is on the property, is considered marital.. For example, if a couple purchased an animal together after they were married, the animal would be considered marital property.
Non-marital property in Illinois includes property that was gifted or previously acquired by one spouse. If one spouse owned the animal before the marriage began, it might be considered non-marital. However, if both spouses were responsible for the care and well-being of the animal, including any financial obligations, the animal would be considered marital property.
Most non-marital property will be granted to the spouse that has ownership over the property. The same is true for pet ownership. If one spouse solely owns the pet, it’s most likely going to stay with that owner. However, in most cases, the pet is considered marital property, and the court must then decide which spouse receives ownership.
There are many factors that go into determining who has ownership of family pets if they’re considered marital property:
If one spouse has been the primary caretaker for the pet, including such tasks as feeding, bathing, and attending to any medical needs, the court is most likely to grant ownership to that spouse. The court is responsible for determining what is in the pet’s best interests before granting ownership, so they need to ensure that whoever has ownership is taking proper care of the animal.
Oftentimes, children are emotionally attached to the family pets, and spouses want to make sure that their children are able to continue to have contact with them.. If it is found to be in the pet’s best interests to stay with the spouse responsible for childcare, the court may grant them the rights to the pets.
If both spouses can agree on who should have ownership of the pets, and the court agrees with this decision, they may grant ownership to the designated spouse. However, if the court finds one spouse unfit to care for the pets, they may overrule this agreement.
Pets are an important part of the family, so if you have questions about your rights as a pet owner in Illinois divorces, contact our team today. We are more than happy to help you during this process.
Walked in just for consultation, and in less than 45 days, my case was closed! Thanks to attorney Andrea Heckman, with all her passion and professional manner! Couldn’t be happier! Thank you so much for everything! Great attorney for all family needs! Thank you.
From the moment I walked in as a client to the end when everything was complete, I was very pleased with attorney Andrea Heckman, her knowledge, and professionalism! Her whole staff was always helpful. I would use them again if needed and refer them to everyone I know! Thank you.
Andrea Heckman has been my attorney helping/guiding/advocating for my children and I regarding my custody situation. We are in the process of working towards a more equal parenting schedule, and I have faith in her efforts and expertise to accomplish this.
I have used this office since 2018 and have nothing but excellent things to say. Andrea Heckman handled my divorce with no faults. Andrea is currently handling my child custody case and has been on top of everything! Andrea Heckman is an unstoppable force, and I would recommend her to anyone!
I could not ask for a better attorney to represent me during my case which is Andrea Heckman. Anytime I had any questions, I got a response in a timely manner. Andrea walked me through a very difficult time which was a divorce/child custody case. Andrea is very knowledgeable and motivating. The staff has been nothing but welcoming and professional. If I have to go to court for anything, I will definitely be giving this firm a call again.
Heckman Law is handling my divorce/custody. Andrea is very professional, knowledgeable, and responsive. She will take the time to answer and explain any questions you may have. She usually responds within a few hours. Honest about possible outcomes, whether it’s good or bad news. My ex doesn’t want to negotiate or cooperate with anything. Andrea is willing to fight in the courtroom for you. The case is ongoing.
I was represented by Andrea Heckman, and if it wasn’t for her, I would have been so lost. She guided me through my difficult situation. Some lawyers are about money. I knew that Andrea cared about me and my situation.
Ms. Heckman is a great lawyer. She helped me get time with my daughter when my ex was being nasty and refusing to let me see my baby. I thank her for all her hard work.
Ms. Heckman managed our parents’ will and advanced care planning documents expeditiously, skillfully, and with compassion during a stressful situation. We referred her to a family member for divorce with child custody issues, and she was pleased enough to refer her to 2 others for divorce services. A true professional.
Please contact our law office in Rolling Meadows for legal assistance with divorce, child custody, or visitation issues. We serve clients in the Chicago metropolitan area who need the help of an experienced and dedicated family law attorney.