Divorce Vermont Custody

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When two people finally decide to provide a legal end to their marriage, then various issues are also meant to be resolved before the legal approval is given by the state court. Every issue is resolved as per the laws defined for that particular matter. The child custody laws are drafted in order to provide a fair judgment regarding the child's upbringing after the split between the parents. The custodial rights is one of the prime sections associated with most of the divorce cases. The child custody laws in Vermont refer to the child custody as "PR and R", i.e., parental rights and responsibilities. An order that deals with PR & R addresses the following conditions:

  • Which parent is supposed to take physical care of the child?
  • Which parent must take vital decisions pertaining to the life of the child and how the child must be raised?

Initially, the parents are given freedom to draft an agreement about parental rights and responsibilities. Further, the divorcing parents can request the court to convert this agreement to a court order.

Options for Legal Custody

Legal custody implies the right of a parent to take crucial decisions pertaining to the child and how the child must be raised. Some examples of the topics on which decisions are taken are as follows:

  • Whether the child can travel out of Vermont?
  • What sort of religious training must be given to the child?
  • What type of medical and dental care must be provided to the child?
  • The kind of education the child must be offered

Sole legal custody means that only one parent has the decision making rights related to their children's requirements.

Shared legal custody results into the condition where both the parents share this right. This is usually possible due to the prior agreement made by both the parents.

Split legal custody indicates that the father has the decision making powers of some children while the mother is allowed to have the same powers for other children.

Options for Physical Custody

Physical custody is the right of a parent to have the child residing with one particular parent and also stay overnight with him or her. This parent has to cater the daily routine requirements of the child.

Sole physical child custody means that the child resides with only one parent. This parent has the responsibility of caring for the child for 75 to 100% of the time.

Shared physical custody implies that the child resides with both the parents for the same or varying durations of times. For example -

  • Weekdays with the father and weekends with the mother
  • Spending a week with both the parents on alternate basis

Split physical custody is applicable when the parents have more than one child. In such cases, children's responsibilities are mainly shared between both the parents. Some children reside with the father and the remnant live with the mother.

The Concept of Parent-Child Contact

"Parent-child contact" is another term used for "visitation". It can be defined as the right of a non custodial parent to be with the child for some time. When one parent is awarded sole physical custody, the other parent is generally granted some sort of visitation.

The parents are given an opportunity to decide between themselves the terms of the parental rights and responsibilities as well as parent-child contact. If the parents fails to do so, the judge finalizes these issues. However, the court decides on this matter only after considering some essential factors present in the family. For example, the preference of the child to stay with a particular parent is one of the major considerations by the court. Ultimately, the objective of the judge is that the child must remain in contact with the father as well as the mother. The only exception to this intent is when such a contact would be harmful to the child. Let us assume that one of the parents has harmed the child. Consequently, the judge might restrict the visitation hours or announce that there would be no contact with such a parent.

In some cases, one parent desires that there should be no contact between the child and the other parent. For this to happen, the parent must prove to the judge that the other parent is a grave and imminent threat to the child.

The child custody laws in Vermont are highly crucial in order to provide a suitable and safe living to all those children who are involved during their parent's divorce case.

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