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Who Keeps Family Pet after a Divorce?

Posted on in Distribution of Assets

People often consider pets to be family members.  That deep affection means that cats and dogs can be sore subjects during divorce cases.  Who should have custody of the family pet when they family has split?  The fact is that legally, pets are often looked at as property when dividing assets during a divorce.  There are certain facts that can be influence the decision of where Fido ends up.

The owner of the pet is often given precedence in any pet custody case.  It is similar to the determination of separate property or marital property.   If the pet was purchased before the marriage, then it may be considered a separate asset not subject to division.  But the initial purchase won’t be the only way to pay for a pet; there are also considerations about who pays for the pet&s food and medical expenses.

The other way that custody is decided is based on who provides care for the animal, much like when determining child custody.  That could mean that the person who takes the animal to the vet or the person who takes the animal for walks can have an easier time claiming pet custody.  Another way to show who the primary caregiver of a pet is who cares for the animal during the split.

One way to deal with the custody of a pet is by sharing the duties of ownership.  This is especially a good choice if you will also share custody of children with your ex-spouse.  When the children are moving between houses, they can be responsible for taking the pet with them.  With shared custody, you should also consider sharing the costs of the pet such as vet bills, insurance, or other expenses.  Don’t allow anything to escape your attention during your divorce.  Contact an experienced divorce attorney in Lombard who can represent your best interests.

Illinois State Bar Association DuPage County Bar Association Northwest Suburban Bar Association American Inns of Court DuPage Association of Woman Lawyers National Association of Woman Business Owners Illinois Association Criminal Defense Lawyers DuPage County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
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