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Divorce Laws in Vermont

In Vermont, either spouse may contest a no fault divorce, by claiming that the couple has not lived apart for six months or that there is a reasonable chance of reconciliation. If the divorce is contested the court may either make a ruling at that time or put the divorce on hold for one to two months and may suggest marriage counseling.

Residency and jurisdiction in Vermont
At least one spouse must live in Vermont for at least six months before filing for divorce and divorce will not be granted until one spouse has lived in the State for one year. Divorce may be filed in the county were either spouse lives.

Fault or no fault and grounds for divorce in Vermont
Vermont allows fault and no fault divorce. No fault divorce is granted if the couple lives apart for at least six months with no expectations of resuming the relationship.

Acceptable grounds for fault divorce in Vermont are as follows:

  • Adultery
  • Prison sentence of three years or longer
  • Cruelty
  • Abandonment for at least seven years
  • Intentional denial of support
  • Incurable insanity

Division of property
Vermont is an "equitable distribution" State meaning the property is not divided 50/50, but rather in a manner that the court deems fair to both parties. When dividing marital property the court must consider many factors including:

  • Length of marriage
  • Age and health
  • Source of income
  • Occupation, vocational skills and employability
  • Contribution to education or earning power of the other spouse
  • Value of property and property division
  • Debts and needs
  • Potential for future acquisition of assets and future income
  • Child custody
  • Contribution to acquisition and value, up or down, of the property including contribution as a homemaker

Spousal support in Vermont
In Vermont spousal support may be granted on a temporary or permanent basis. When determining spousal support the court must consider many factors including:

  • Length of marriage
  • Standard of living during the marriage
  • Financial resources of the spouse seeking support
  • Ability to be self supporting
  • Property division
  • Child support
  • Time and expense required in order to become self supporting
  • Age and physical and emotional health
  • Ability of the spouse, from whom support is sought, to pay support while remaining self supporting
  • Inflation

Child custody and support in Vermont
When determining child custody in Vermont the court may not discriminate against one parent based on financial resources and must consider many factors including:

  • Relationship of the child with each parent
  • Parent’s willingness and ability to give love, affection and guidance to the child
  • Ability and willingness to provide food, clothing, medical care, other material needs and a safe environment
  • Ability and willingness to meet the child’s developmental needs
  • Child’s adjustment to home, school, and community
  • Willingness to foster a close relationship between the child and the other parent, unless this relationship would be harmful to child or parent
  • Child’s relationship with the primary care giver
  • Child’s relationship with any other significant parties
  • Parents’ ability to work together in making decisions regarding the child
  • Abuse and the effect of abuse on the child

Vermont uses the Income Shares Model for calculating child support. Child support may extend to providing for a college education.

If you are considering or facing divorce in Vermont, contact an experienced Vermont divorce attorney today.

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Disclaimer: Divorce law information contained throughout this page is intended to generally inform you about divorce law in Vermont and introduce you to divorce lawyers throughout the U.S. The information regarding divorce and divorce law is not meant to be taken as legal advice. If you like to speak with an experienced divorce attorney, click on the link to your state to find an experienced divorce lawyer in your area for an initial consultation.
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