When an Illinois couple or one elsewhere around the nation decides to get a divorce, there are a multitude of decisions that must be made. Typically, many of the decisions deal with property division and determining who gets what after the couple is no longer together. In the past, most courts viewed a couple's pets as property and made their determination as to where a pet would reside with that mindset. However, many states have enacted laws -- or are planning to -- that will consider custody of pets in the same manner as child custody.
Pets are often considered to be members of one's family. Therefore, the shift in how pet custody is determined is a welcome change. Another state has passed a law that will go into effect in 2019 that will make decisions based on the best interest of the pet, not simply seen as property to be divided.
In the past, custody of a pet went to one of the spouses, though arrangements for visitation may have been made. Often, a decision could not be reached and many pets were sent to animal shelters. Proponents of the new pet custody laws believe that fewer animals will be sent to shelters as a result of new legislation. However, those against the law believe that it will create additional delays.
While every state does not have a law addressing pet custody, the issue may still surface in discussions of property division. To ensure that one's needs are addressed, both current and future, it would be advantageous to seek the advice of an Illinois divorce attorney. An experience lawyer will guide clients throughout the complex divorce process and work toward achieving the most favorable outcome possible in the proceedings.