In divorces around the country, there are cases involving family pets. In most states, pets are treated the same as any other property and are subject to property division rules. In Illinois, this isn’t the case. In fact, judges now have the power to make decisions about the pet’s best interests during a divorce.
Pet custody may sound unusual, but it’s a real matter of contention for many pet parents. The reality is that pets are living creatures with feelings and preferences, so it makes sense to treat them more like family than inanimate property.
Illinois treats animals like the family they are
In Illinois, the state is a pioneer in that it believes that pets should be placed in the home that is going to provide the best care for them. Pets can have a custody schedule just like children.
In some cases, pet parents may opt to share custody of their pet even after a divorce is over. Just like with child custody cases, pet custody cases can result in a pet parenting plan and custody arrangements for beloved dogs, cats or other pets.
You should do what’s in your pet’s best interests
Since this kind of law is in place in Illinois, it’s only right for you to do what’s in your pet’s best interests. In some cases, this will be to continue having a relationship with both of the people who raised the pet. In other cases, it may be better for only one person to retain custody of the pet.
Your pet is important to your life. It’s worth fighting for them and working toward a positive outcome in your pet custody case. With experienced assistance, you may be able to find a solution that works for everyone.