Pets Awarded To The Better Pet-Parent In New Divorce Law


If you are considering a divorce and have pets, a new law is now on the books in Chicago, IL, which may make life easier for those pets.


Pets are a big part of our lives.  Historically, courts have considered them property, like a car or furniture.  But ideas are beginning to shift and, to determine who gets custody of the pets,  some courts are now taking into account the best interest of the animal.  In fact, shared custody may be the wave of the future – the same way the courts now apply rulings to child care.


A Chicago-based attorney believes it sometimes takes two parents to provide care for children, since both parents aren’t always available.  The same goes for pets.  There are vet appointments, grooming, possibly doggie daycare.  These things sometimes require two people.


Courtesy, Pexels

In fact, in Illinois, you may want to consider a prenuptial agreement.  Who gets the pets brought into the marriage, and who gets the pets acquired after you say ‘I do’?  A 2014 survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers revealed that pet custody disputes are on the rise.


Illinois is not the first state consider a pet’s well-being in settlements.  Leading the way is Alaska.  In 2016, that state passed extensive legislation concerning the health and welfare of pets, in regard to support payments, in the same manner as they are considered for minor children.  In 2017, five members of Rhode Island’s House of Representatives submitted an Act for consideration, which would include ‘custody of pets’  in cases of divorce or separation.


The times, they are a-changing, and we hope more municipalities and courts change with the times and start treating animals with the care and consideration they all deserve.


Tune in to this episode of and watch “A Poem For My Foster Dog”, to learn about the dire need for foster pet parents.  They make an absolute difference in the life of a shelter animal.



Lisa Blanck

Writing articles about animals for more than 22 years, she dove into the rescue world with the onset of Hurricane Katrina. As an outspoken advocate for animals, she's covered everything from paws to hooves, fins to feathers. She was the Orlando Animal Rescue and Worldwide Animal Issues Examiner for seven years. She's always thinking pawsitive, looking for ways to improve the lives of animals. She lives with one dog, one cat and one patient human. She welcomes your suggestions and is thrilled to be part of the family!

1 comment

  1. Lajeanne Leveton says:

    I wish it was national!

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