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Vermont Divorce Laws

Each state has unique legal requirements in which a divorce may be granted by the court. When choosing the grounds for your divorce, you should always remember that you must have sufficient proof to the court that your marital situation warrants a divorce under the grounds you are requesting the divorce to be granted.

Basic Divorce Laws in Vermont

In order to file for a divorce or dissolution, you must meet residency requirements for the court to accept the case. One person must have been a resident of the state for at least six (6) months. There are also special rules for member of the armed services.

No-Fault Divorce

The biggest difference among state divorce laws is the concept of “fault.” Vermont is a mixture of fault and "no-fault" divorce state. In a no-fault divorce, neither spouse needs to prove that the other spouse is the reason for the divorce. Instead, parties may simply cite "irreconcilable differences" or an "irreparable breakdown of the marriage" when filing for divorce and have lived apart for six (6) months.

Specific Divorce Provisions

Even though Vermont is a "no-fault" divorce state, there are certain times when a couple may file for divorce based on fault. To grant a divorce or dissolution, the court must determine either that:

  • Adultery;
  • Incarceration for more than three (3) years;
  • Intolerable severity (also known as extreme cruelty);
  • Deserting the other person for at least seven (7) years;
  • Refusal by either side to provide suitable maintenance (financial resources) despite a proven ability to do so;
  • Incurable sanity.

Is There A Filing Fee?

Yes. The court charges fees to file the petition---usually around $80. For more information about the court fees, you should contact your local Vermont Superior Court, Family Law Division. There may also be costs to serve the petition on your spouse. If you cannot afford to pay the fees and costs, you can ask the judge for a fee waiver.

The following table outlines the basic divorce laws in Vermont. See Details on State Requirements for Divorce, Divorce and Out-of-Court Proceedings: Alternative Dispute Resolution, and An Overview of Fault and No-Fault Divorce Law to learn more.

Code Section Tit. 15 §§551, 562, 563, 592, 631
Residency Requirements

Six (6) months before commencing action and 1 yr. before final hearing. 2 yrs. before commencing action for grounds of insanity.

Waiting Period

N/A

'No Fault' Grounds for Divorce

Separation (6 months)

Defenses to a Divorce Filing

None

Other Grounds for Divorce Adultery; intolerable severity; desertion (7 years); nonsupport; incurable insanity (confined for 5 yrs.); conviction of crime with imprisonment over 3 yrs; living apart for 6 consecutive months and resumption of marital relations not reasonably probable.

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

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Vermont Divorce Laws: Related Resources

Have the Facts of Your Divorce Case Reviewed for Free

Every divorce in Vermont is different. While there are standard issues that come up in every situation, from alimony, child support, and property division, every couple has their own unique set of facts and circumstances. That's why it important to have a skilled divorce lawyer review your case and represent you in court, should you need to attend a hearing. Start today with a free initial consultation from a Vermont Divorce lawyer.

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