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VERMONT DIVORCE BASICS AND OVERVIEW
This is a divorce reference guide to understanding divorce in Vermont. Each state has its own requirements, laws, and documentation, so we decided to gather it all in one location to make it easy and quick for you to find the information you need before, during and after your divorce.
Divorce in Vermont Made Easy (See Vermont Divorce Help Center)
- Time Frame: Vermont does not have a timeline for a divorce. After the plaintiff files a final stipulation, the court clerk schedules a hearing. The date the judge signs the Divorce Order is when the divorce becomes final, which is not necessarily the hearing date.
- Where to File: Family Court. "State of Vermont, Family Court __________County." (See Vermont Court Addresses)
- Statute Statutes: Vermont Statutes Annotated; Title 15, Chapter 11.
- Name of Action: Complaint for Divorce.
- Name of Parties: Plaintiff, the filing spouse, and defendant, the other spouse.
- No-Fault or Fault and No-Fault Only: Both no-fault and fault.
- Primary Documents Filed: Complaint for Divorce and Decree of Divorce. (See VT Forms List With Explanations)
- Physical Separation Required: For no-fault, six or more months.
- Legal Separation Permitted: Vermont grants a legal separation for any of the causes for which an absolute divorce may be granted.
- Grounds: No-fault, when a married person lives apart from his or her spouse for six consecutive months and the court finds that the resumption of marital relations is not reasonably probable, and on fault, which include adultery, incarceration of either party for life, or for three years or more; intolerable severity, desertion for seven years, failure to support, and incurable insanity. (See Vermont Laws for Divorce)
- Residency Requirement: Either party must reside in Vermont for six months or more before the divorce is filed, but the action shall not be decreed unless either spouse has resided in Vermont one year preceding the date of final hearing.
- Mediation Required: There is no mandatory mediation in Vermont.
- Counseling Required: If one spouse denies that the couple has lived apart for the requisite period of time or alleges that reconciliation is reasonably probable, the court considers all relevant factors, including whether the parties have lived apart long enough and whether the reconciliation of the parties is reasonably probable. The court continues the action for not less than 30 days or more than 60 days.
- Parenting Classes Required: The court may require attendance at parenting classes. Parents receive a Certificate of Completion to provide to the court to fulfill the requirement. The Certificate is filed with the divorce paperwork.
- Filing Fee: About $78.50 to $262. (See VT Filing Fee Waiver Form)
- Where to File for Child Support: The Office of Child Support (OCS) is the state agency responsible for establishing, collecting upon, enforcing, and modifying support orders.
- Child Support Guidelines Model: Vermont uses the Income Shares Model, which estimates the amount of support that would have been available if the marriage had not dissolved. This estimated amount is then divided proportionally to the parents according to each parent's income. This is a very common approach shared by many other states.
- Property Division: Equitable distribution and an all-property regime.
- Appreciation of Separate Property: The appreciation of marital property is marital.
- Attendance at Hearing: Maybe. Some counties do not require a hearing when the spouses file a stipulation/agreement to waive the final hearing.
- Fault Considered in Property Division: Yes.
- Waiting period after Divorce for Remarriage: None.
- Ways to Serve Spouse: A sheriff or deputy sheriff, or a constable or other person authorized by law, may make service of all process, as can "some indifferent person" specially appointed by any superior judge deliver the divorce papers to the non-filing spouse. Most divorce papers are delivered by personal service by hand-delivery by a process server or substituted service by mail.
- Learn More About Vermont Divorce.
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