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Who gets the family pet after a divorce?

On Behalf of | Jun 4, 2020 | Firm News |

Many couples in Illinois adopt pets either before or during their marriages, and it is not typically considered what to do in case of a divorce. However, no loving couple initially plans on getting divorced; however, such lack of contingency can end up leaving an animal’s fate up in the air. 

When a divorce does roll around, it can be difficult to decide who gets to keep a family pet, even if the divorce is amicable and you and your spouse are pursuing mediation. The Chicago Tribune suggests that when getting a family pet, only one person should put his or her name on the paperwork. This way, even though nobody wants to get a divorce, that possible eventuality will be accounted for. 

How is pet custody decided by the court? 

It is typical for the custody of a pet to be given to only one spouse. In certain instances, if you do not get custody of your pet, you may still be able to arrange for visitation. It is also possible to specify how you want your ex-spouse to care for the animal after the divorce. 

Whichever one of you wants the pet, a legal ruling is not reached until the divorce is finalized and all papers are signed. Just bear in mind that if you cannot come to an agreement, custody of your pet will most likely be given to whichever spouse bought the animal and brought it home. While it is rare to see, some people end up putting their pets in a prenuptial agreement.