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Vermont Child Custody Laws

Family law matters generally fall under state jurisdiction, including custody. Most U.S. states have adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (PDF), which fosters legal cooperation with respect to multi-state custody cases. Vermont child custody laws comply with the Act, while also allowing grandparent visitation rights.

Vermont Child Custody Laws

The Vermont Family Court calls child custody and visitation "parental rights and responsibilities." A family law judge will decide the terms of a parenting agreement unless both parents can agree on a custody plan, then the court will just need to approve a written agreement.

Court-Ordered Programs

The court may order you to take part in a Family Court program. These programs are designed to help parents, or the court, decide about the children.

These are some of the court programs the court could order:

  • Home study;
  • Parent coordination;
  • Children's panel;
  • Visitation masters;
  • Forensic evaluation.

Types of Child Custody

There are two (2) basic types of child custody in Vermont--physical custody/responsibility and legal custody/responsibility.

Physical Responsibility

Physical responsibility is where your child lives. The person who has physical responsibility takes care of the child's day-to-day needs.

Legal Responsibility

In Vermont, legal responsibility is who has the right to make major decisions about the child's life. Here are some examples of major decisions:

  • Where your child goes to school;
  • What religion your child practices (if any);
  • Which doctor your child goes to;
  • If your child can travel outside of Vermont.

Best Interests of the Child

The most important concern for the court in deciding on a parenting agreement plan is what is in best interests of the child. Learn more about Vermont child custody laws in the following table, with links to additional sources. See FindLaw's Child Custody section for additional articles and more state-specific information.

Code Section Tit. 15 §665
Year Uniform Child Custody Act Adopted


Joint Custody an Option?

Yes, Tit. 15 §665(a)

Grandparent Visitation Rights Recognized?

Yes, 15§1011

Child's Own Wishes Considered?


Note: Vermont child custody laws are constantly changing--contact a Vermont child custody attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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