Pets are often considered special members of any family. For those couples who do not have children, their dog or cat can seem like a child. According to the 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA), 67 percent of American households, or approximately 85 million families, own a pet. There are many different types of pets one can have, and some of the most common include dog, cat, rabbit, turtle, hamster, guinea pig, lizard, bird, or snake. When a couple decides to part ways and gets a divorce, a common question is what happens to the family pet or pets? Understanding how asset and property division, as well as child custody work in Illinois, can help determine where a pet will reside post-divorce.
The Division of Marital Property Is Fair
In Illinois, marital property is divided using the “equitable division” method, which means that instead of assets being split in half, they are divided fairly. In some cases, a couple may agree on who gets what, including their pet. Several factors are considered by a judge if a couple cannot agree to the terms on their own, such as the length of the marriage and each spouse’s contributions to the marriage. Every situation is unique, so what works for one family may not work for others. In cases where there is more than one pet, the spouses may agree to each take one....
Although all divorces may have some things in common, each case is unique depending on the couple. Some spouses mutually agree to legally end their marriage while in other cases, one partner is blindsided by the breakup. Typically, there are several issues that must be addressed before the divorce is considered final. According to Illinois law, marital property is subject to equitable distribution, which means possessions are divided fairly but not exactly 50/50. This also includes any outstanding debt the couple may have acquired throughout their marriage. Another aspect that is considered is whether one spouse is entitled to spousal maintenance or support, which is also known as alimony. Financial support of this nature allows one party to maintain a certain standard of living after the divorce until he or she can secure employment and become financially independent.
Spousal Support Guidelines
As of January 1, 2019, the rules governing spousal maintenance in Illinois changed. If a couple cannot reach an agreement on spousal support payments, then the court will get involved. The court will consider all relevant factors to come up with a duration and an amount that is appropriate, including the length of the marriage, each party’s income level, as well as his or her future earning potential....
When getting a divorce, most couples want to get the process over with as quickly and amicably as possible. This is why divorce mediation has become such a popular option today. During mediation, the two spouses sit down with a mediator and work together to come to an agreement on the terms of the divorce. The mediator does not represent either party or make any decisions; instead, he or she is simply a facilitator that encourages the couple to cooperate to resolve issues in a respectful and honest manner.
There are many advantages to mediation. A couple can complete the process much more quickly than a litigated divorce that means significant savings as well; however, there are also some potential drawbacks to mediation. Before deciding to enter into the mediation process, you should be aware of these limitations.
The Difficulty of Finding Assets
During a litigated divorce, your attorney has a number of means to determine the full extent and value of your marital assets. During the discovery phase, depositions, subpoenas or other methods may be used to obtain information from your spouse, and questions asked under oath must be answered honestly. This can ensure that all marital property will be discovered, and this process will reduce the possibility that your spouse will attempt to hide any assets from you. During mediation, these resources are not at your disposal. If your spouse is hiding any assets, you will be unlikely to uncover this information during mediation....