According to the Vermont Divorce Laws and Vermont Divorce Guidelines, to get divorced in Vermont, either spouse must have been a resident of the state for at least 6 months before the case is filed. In addition, the divorce will not be completed until either spouse has been a resident for 1 year
Grounds for Divorce
Grounds for a No-Fault Divorce:
- Living separate and apart without cohabitation for 6 consecutive months.
Fault Based Divorce:
- Imprisonment for 3 years or more or for life
- Willful desertion for 7 years
- Cruel and inhuman treatment of intolerable severity
- Incurable mental illness
- Gross neglect
Child Custody in Vermont:
In Vermont, the court will order custody to ether parent or both by considering the following factors:
- The relationship of the child with each parent and the ability and disposition of each parent to provide the child with love, affection and guidance.
- The ability and disposition of each parent to assure that the child receives adequate food, clothing, medical care, other material needs and a safe environment.
- The ability and disposition of each parent to meet the child’s present and future developmental needs.
- The quality of the child’s adjustment to the child’s present housing, school and community and the potential effect of any change.
- The ability and disposition of each parent to foster a positive relationship and frequent and continuing contact with the other parent.
- The quality of the child’s relationship with the primary care provider, if appropriate given the child’s age and development.
- The relationship of the child with any other person who may significantly affect the child.
- The ability and disposition of the parents to communicate cooperate with each other and make joint decisions concerning the children where parental rights and responsibilities are to be shared or divided.
- Evidence of abuse.
Child Support in Vermont:
If the parents are unable to agree to an amount of child support, there are guidelines that determine the amount of support based on the Vermont Child Support Guidelines. The guideline amount is presumed to arrive at an amount of support that is in the child’s best interest.
Either or both of the parents may be required to pay child support, based on a consideration of the following factors:
- The financial resources of the child;
- The standard of living the child would have enjoyed if the marriage had not been dissolved;
- The physical and emotional conditions and educational needs of the child;
- The financial resources, needs, and obligations of both the non-custodial and the custodial parent;
- Inflation with relation to the cost of living;
- The costs of any educational needs of either parent;
- Any travel expenses related to parent-child contact; and
- Any other relevant factors.
Health insurance coverage for the child may be ordered to be provided. The court may require security or wage withholding. Every order of child support must be made subject to a wage assignment in the event of delinquency and require the payments to be made to the registry in the Office of Child Support, unless the situation falls under an exception to the rules shown in Vermont Statutes Annotated; Title 33, Section 4103. There are official child support guidelines available from the Vermont Department of Human Services which are presumed to be correct, unless they are shown to be unfair under the circumstances. There is an official child support computation worksheet available.
Property Distribution in Vermont:
In Vermont, the property and debt issues are typically settled between the parties by a signed Marital Settlement Agreement or the property award is actually order and decreed by the family court within the decree of divorce.
The court may consider all relevant factors when dividing marital property, including but not limited to:
- The duration of the marriage.
- The age and health condition of the parties; the occupation, source and amount of income of each of the parties.
- Vocational skills and employability.
- The contribution by one spouse to the education, training, or increased earning power of the other.
- The value of all property interests, liabilities, and needs of each party.
- Whether the property settlement is in lieu of or in addition to maintenance.
- The opportunity of each for future acquisition of capital assets and income.
- The desirability of awarding the family home or the right to live there for reasonable periods to the spouse having custody of the children.
- The party through whom the property was acquired.
- The contribution of each spouse in the acquisition of the marital property.
- The respective merits of the parties.
Alimony/Spousal Support in Vermont:
The court will consider the following when making a spousal maintenance order:
· The financial resources of the party desiring maintenance.
· The time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment.
· The standard of living established while married.
· The duration of the marriage.
· The age and health condition of each spouse.
· The ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet his or her reasonable needs while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance.
· Inflation with relation to the cost of living.
If you do not know where your spouse is and cannot locate him/her, after diligent effort, you may still get a divorce in Vermont. It may involve the extra expense of running a newspaper ad or something similar.
Disclaimer: The divorce law information provided is for informational purposes only not for legal advice purposes. This information is general in nature. Each jurisdiction has specific code and court procedures. A local divorce attorney is your best source for how divorce is treated in your jurisdiction. Before making any legal decisions we encourage you to consult with a local attorney…do not make decisions based on general state divorce law.