Important Vermont Divorce Guidelines to File for a Divorce
Residency Requirements in a Vermont Divorce Petition
As required in filing for divorce in Vermont, either of the spouses must be a resident of the State for at least six months preceding the petition. Before the court grants the finality of a divorce, at least one of the spouses must have lived in Vermont for at least a year. It is important to note that the final hearing will not be scheduled until the parties have lived separately for at least six months.
Vermont Grounds For Divorce
Vermont has no-fault and fault-based grounds for divorce.
The common no-fault ground is living separate and apart without cohabitation for at least six months, with no probability of reconciliation or resumption of marital relations.
Fault-based grounds include adultery, intolerable severity or cruelty, incurable sanity, incarceration for more than three years, willful desertion for seven years, and gross neglect.
Child Custody Law in Vermont
As with other States, Vermont Family Courts may grant either sole or joint custody to parents having a divorce. While it may be deemed sometimes that the child is better off with both parents having joint legal custody where they could both participate in making important decisions in raising the child after the divorce is finalized, the court will decide against it if it sees that joint custody will not further the best interests of the child.
Among others, the court will look into any evidence or history of violence, child abuse, substance abuse, alcoholism, and other factors that may adversely affect the general welfare of the child, should he or she stay with either parent. In the same manner, it will study the merits of having the child jointly raised by both parents whether physically or legally.
Guidelines for Vermont Child Support
Vermont follows a public policy that protects the interests of children whose parents are divorced. Its principle is that children of divorced or separated parents must be able to enjoy the same quality of life as before the divorce happened.
Monthly support amount is determined by dividing the income contribution of each parent proportionally and considering the necessary expenses in raising the child until the child reaches adulthood.
Where to file for a divorce?
Vermont divorce forms may be filed in the county where either spouse resides.
For a fast and inexpensive divorce process, you can file Vermont online divorce forms.
Refer to the “Divorce Requirements for Vermont Residents” above and also review the best online divorce sites.
Divorce mediation is available in Vermont but it is not advisable for everyone. If one party intends to punish the other for certain offenses like domestic violence, child abuse, adultery, physical abuse, drug addiction and the likes, the court is best to handle it rather than mediation.
If the circumstances are nothing like that, mediation is a good alternative when filing a Vermont divorce petition. It allows parties to settle their divorce issues on their own rather than hiring a lawyer and going through a lengthy courtroom drama. It is especially advisable for couples with no children, huge debts, and properties to fight about. Divorcing couples can discuss about distribution of property including assets and liabilities, child custody and time for parenting, child support and maintenance, among others.
Need information for a different state?
You may also visit the Vermont Courts