Every pet I've ever had in my life was treated like a family member. Did you know that in Illinois that's legally the case and it's such a rare thing it's only true in 5 other places.

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Keep in mind that I am not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV. Don't even think of taking anything I say as legal advice. I'm supposedly an entertainer, but in this case I am an alleged entertainer who did some research. Actually, it was one of my colleagues in Michigan that first noticed this.

Is your pet a legal member of your family in Illinois?

I found 3 different sources that say YES. One is an article in The Daily Mail which mentioned 6 states where pets are legal members of your family. Illinois is one of them. Pew Research is another site that did a survey on how Americans think of their pets. Again, Illinois is a legal member of the family state they say. Finally, I found a lawyer's website in Illinois which says this:

Pets are technically considered property, but under Illinois law, they are treated differently than a house, car, or other physical assets during a divorce.

They point to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. There's a lot of lawyer-politician speak in that act which is above my pay grade, but the gist of what it says (I'm told) is this. If you have a pet and are in the process of trying to figure out what's fair in a divorce, your pet will be considered a family member more or less. That's my takeaway.

Let me once again emphasize my non-lawyer attributes and advise you as an entertainer/friend to see a real one if you have questions and/or a real pet issue in Illinois.

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