Call Us630-382-8050

2445 Dean Street, Suite G, St. Charles, IL 60175

Who Gets to Keep the Dog After the Divorce?

Posted on in Illinois Divorce

Kane County divorce attorneyDivorces are hard, and it can be even harder to part with some of the assets you collected over the course of a marriage. Spouses choosing to file for a divorce will have to divide their shared property, which can be a highly volatile situation if the partners are unwilling to agree. It is important to be okay with parting with some of the assets you have come to love such as your house, the flat-screen TV or even the car your spouse bought for you when dividing marital assets during a marriage dissolution. But, how do partners agree upon who keeps the dog? 

Shared Marital Property

After a while, pets become another member of the family. Your kids love them, you catch your so-called pet-hating spouse throwing the ball for them, and you even find yourself cuddling with them from time to time. Dividing property during a divorce is incredibly difficult. But how do you divide up another member of the family?

Depending on when your pet was purchased and by who, the process of deciding who keeps the dog may be much easier. If your dog was purchased by your spouse prior to the marriage, your spouse owns the dog and is considered their individual property. Similarly, if you purchased your pet before you married your spouse, the dog belongs to you and would follow you during a divorce. The process gets a bit trickier if you purchased the pet together in a marriage because, in this case, the pet is shared marital property. 

Shared marital property refers to any items, assets or finances that belong to both spouses in a marriage. These types of things typically include 401(k)s, retirement plans, houses, and pets to a certain extent. When you are going through a divorce, a skilled divorce attorney will help both you and your spouse come to an agreement on how to divide these shared assets. In the case of your family pet, one spouse may agree to give custody to the other. However, if ownership of the pet is contested, the couple may require mediation techniques to come to a pet custody agreement 

Mediation and Other Resolutions

If you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse can not agree on who will keep the dog, this constitutes a contested divorce agreement, which requires some legal intervention. Contested divorces are when spouses cannot agree upon the divorce itself or an element of the divorce decree. Attorneys, or an elected third party, may be able to mediate between both parties and help come to an agreement. Some options for dividing up ownership of a shared family pet may be:

  • Create a shared-custody schedule between you and your partner
  • Allow the partner not living with the pet visitation time 
  • Allow the parent who obtains majority parenting time with the children to keep the pet

Ask a St. Charles Divorce Lawyer

Understanding all of the legalities within a divorce is tricky. At Weiler & Lengle P.C., our highly skilled Kane County divorce and family attorneys can help guide you through the process of divorce, including coming to an agreement with your spouse on how to divide up shared property. To schedule a consultation with our office, call us today at 630-382-8050



Best Law Firm 2020 Emerging Lawyers Best 10 Avvo Leading lawyers Avvo
Back to Top