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Pets are also affected during divorce

 Posted on July 04, 2012 in Divorce

While battles over child custody are well known, in some cases, divorcing couples have emotional arguments over ownership of the couple's pets.  Often, the pets are just as affected by the divorce as the couple, yet couples have trouble deciding what to do with the pets after the divorce is finalized.

Shelter officials say that in most cases, couples are able to work out some type of custody agreement for pets, but in rare occasions after a separation or divorce, the pets will be surrendered to a local animal shelter.  Currently, marital troubles are the sixth most common reason for voluntarily surrendered animals in the United States.  But officials add that these statistics only include owners who specifically state a disintegrating marriage as a reason for surrendering their pets.  Many more will be left at shelters or simply abandoned.

Owners are often reluctant to take their animals to a shelter for fear that they will be euthanized, but many shelters have no-kill policies that ensure that the animals will find homes eventually.  Yet for many divorcees, moving to smaller homes and apartments with weight and breed restrictions means that they will no longer be able to keep their family pets.

The state of Illinois does not have statutes dealing with animal custody like it does for child custody.  In each case, unless a spouse is convicted of animal cruelty, the couple are responsible for deciding the fate of their animals.  If you are in the process of filing for divorce and are overwhelmed with the aspects of your filing, you should contact one of our caring Illinois divorce lawyers today for a consultation.

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