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What happens to my pet when I get a divorce?

Couples going through a divorce will usually need to come to an agreement on how to divide property, time with children, etc. One issue that is seldom discussed is who gets to keep the pets. For many people, attachment to their furry friends is an emotional attachment. However, the courts typically view ownership of pets in the same light as any other property. This means that judges will not usually order a visitation schedule.

One solution to the issue of divorcing with pets is to hire a mediator. A mediator will meet with you and your spouse outside of court to help you both come up with a plan for how to share your furry friend. During mediation, divorcing spouses are encouraged to find a compromise regarding time spent with the pet. Along with the privileges of sharing the pet, however, come the responsibilities. Divorcing spouses will also need to reach a compromise regarding who pays vet fees, food expenses, etc.

Regarding a reasonable arrangement for sharing time with the pet, divorcing couples will often follow a schedule somewhat like the following:

  • Weekends with spouse A, weekdays with spouse B
  • Even months with spouse A, odd months with spouse B
  • Every other week with either spouse

Because the parties will most likely come to the agreement under the supervision of a mediator, outside of the courtroom, the possibilities for joint ownership of a pet are endless. Couples are given a great deal of freedom in deciding what happens with their pet.

For more information on how joint ownership of a pet is determined in a divorce, please feel free to contact The Law Office of Bradley R. Tengler in Rockford, IL at 815-981-4859 for a free consultation. Please note, the above does not constitute legal advice. Please discuss your specific rights with an attorney in your own jurisdiction.

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The Law Office of Bradley R. Tengler, Inc. 728 North Court Street, Suite B Rockford, IL 61103 Phone: 815-981-4859 Fax: 815-997-5129 Rockford Law Office Map