Monthly Archives: November 2014
Should We Treat Pets as Children? A look into the rise of animal custody cases.
The division of assets and property are perhaps the most hotly contested issues when it comes to settling a divorce, especially when there are no minor children involved. But what about the dog you purchased right after you got married, or the cat you adopted when you moved in together? Who will get the little “baby” after the divorce? Animals custody cases are becoming an increasingly prevalent issue in our nation, and Illinois is no exception. Dog and cat ownership in the United States has quadrupled since the 1960s, and what we spend on our pet is more than double what it was in the 2000s. While there has been a large increase in pet ownership, legislatures have been reluctant to write statutes determining how to award pet custody in family law cases.
New spousal support guidelines are coming to Illinois January 1, 2015. This blog post overviews the potential pros and cons of this new legislation.
To see how the new spousal support formula will work: Click here
The current law essentially awards spousal support, or maintenance as its also referred to, at the judge’s discretion after consideration of numerous factors. This has led maintenance awards to vary widely from case to case and the inconsistency made it difficult for family law attorneys to give clients a concrete answer to the question: “how much spousal support will I pay or receive and for how long?” Therefore, rather than settling their cases, many parties instead would choose to “gamble” and go to trial hoping to receive a better maintenance determination from the judge than they could negotiate out of court.