Approximately 44 million homes have a dog that is often being treated as a child or companion. As years pass by, dogs are also becoming part of custody disputes for Illinois spouses during divorce. How is a dog treated after a marital split?

Throughout the years, spouses have more pets than children. In fact, some will go all out for their dog and treat them to the latest fashion trends and state-of-the-art dog treats. As much as people may view their dogs as a person, the law recognizes them as property. A situation where a woman was originally granted visitation with the dog was overturned in an appeal’s court. The court insinuated that she never had those rights to begin with, but instead is entitled to equitable distribution.

In some instances, spouses may appear before the court over pet custody in an effort to control the other spouse. Some of these cases may be about pet bills or visitation, but they are not actually fighting over the dog. During these battles, the dog may begin to suffer from depression. Some of the signs include loss of appetite and sleeping more. The dog may also have more mishaps inside the home and even cry.

The issue of who gets to keep the dog can be an intense moment during a divorce. In spite of the emotional attachment, it is important to remember what’s in the best interest of the dog. Also, it is recommended that Illinois spouses are honest with themselves in regard to who can financially afford the dog and who took originally care of the dog on a regular basis. Doing so may help keep the dog happy and spouses can keep their sanity.

Source: The Huffington Post, Who Gets The Pets In A Divorce? What You Need To Consider When Fighting Over Fido, Maria Moya, Jan. 19, 2014