Vermont Divorce Laws

Vermont Divorce Requirements

Prior to filing for divorce individuals must first meet the Vermont state requirements. In order to file for divorce in Vermont an individual must reside within the state for a minimum of six month prior to filing. Either individual may reside in the state, as both individuals’ presence is not necessary until the hearing.

Vermont also stipulates that the individual filing must have resided in the state for a minimum of one year at the date of the hearing or the divorce will not be granted. These time requirements will not be affected if an individual must leave the state for military duty, illness treatment, employment, or any other legitimate cause.

The county court systems handle all divorce cases, thus if the individuals filing live in separate Vermont counties, either individual may file for divorce to either county.

Grounds for Divorce

When petitioning for divorce the individuals must state the reasoning for wanting the divorce. This reasoning is called the grounds for divorce. The grounds for divorce are different in each state, whereas some grounds may be legal in one state but may not be in Vermont. Two individuals may decide upon which grounds they are filing and present them in petitioning, or one individual may petition on particular grounds but will then need to prove them before the court.

Vermont grounds for divorce are divided into two categories: No-Fault grounds and Fault grounds. No-Fault grounds state that no particular individual is responsible for the divorce. No-Fault grounds are based on the terms that the individuals have not lived together for six months in a row, prior to filing, and reconciliation is not possible. Martial counseling often precedes divorce filing in these circumstances.

Fault grounds state that one individual is responsible for the divorce. These grounds include committing adultery of either individual; committing intolerable severity towards either individual; conviction for a criminal offense where one individual is incarcerated for at least three years; an extended absence on a willful basis for no less than seven years without contact; incurable insanity of either individual, often with psychological hospitalization; and the refusal to provide, physically or emotionally, for the other individual when the means to do so is fully possible leading to neglect.

Under the divorce grounds for confinement, the individual under confinement must currently be incarceration at the time of the divorce filing.

Divorce Documents

When individuals file for divorce many different kinds of paperwork are necessary. These forms can be as many as twenty and often as few as one dozen. The number of documents required depends on the divorce case, the length of marriage, any subsequent children, present property, and complaint.

Divorce documents in Vermont usually include a Property and Debt Information Sheet, a Court Information Sheet, a Marital Settlement Agreement sheet, a Case Cover Sheet, a Financial Affidavit sheet, a Complaint for Divorce and Decree of Divorce form, and a Property and Debt Information Sheet.

All of these forms will be filed to the county clerk’s office where they will be held, ordered, and maintained until the court hearing.