New Illinois Law Allows Judges to Consider Well-being of Marital Pets in Divorce Proceedings

A new Illinois law allows judges in divorce proceedings to consider the well-being of companion animals while making decisions effecting the sole or joint ownership interests. Effective January 1, 2018, the new law treats pets more akin to children in that divorcing parties may now require courts to take account of the animals' best interests. A similar Alaskan law has been in effect since mid-2017.

For more information:

  • Leonor Vivanco-Prengaman, Chicago Tribune,

  • Suzanne Monyak, The New Republic, "When the Law Recognizes Animals as People"


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