Vermont Divorce Steps

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Vermont divorce steps consists of various stages like primary filing, submission of documents, appeals and trails regarding the issues related to divorce. These stages are basically same in all types of divorces, but their sequence may differ according to the the nature of divorce. For example, a contested divorce may require a couple to follow all the steps from filing of petition to the representation in the court. But, an uncontested divorce may take few steps only. The applicants are allowed to take legal help throughout the divorce procedure. The lawyers and attorneys can provide such assistance to the spouses.

If the divorcing partners are not represented by a lawyer, they should attend the Pro Se Education Program. They need to inquire with the court clerk, the date and time of the next scheduled program which they can attend.

Vermont Divorce Steps regarding divorce documents

  • The following forms must be filed by the Petitioner when he or she applies for a divorce:
    • Affidavit of Military Service, if applicable
    • Health Department Vermont Record of Divorce or Annulment
    • Child Support Order, only page 1 (Form 802)
    • Affidavit of Income and Assets (Form 813)
    • Cover Sheet (Form 800)
    • Summons, Complaint for Divorce, Notice of Appearance and Affidavit of Child Custody (Form 836)
      • Instead of the combined Form 836, the Petitioner may opt to fill the following forms:
        • Affidavit of Child Custody (Form 834)
        • Complaint for Divorce (Form 833)
        • Summons (Form 832)
        • Notice of Appearance (Form 831)

The Petitioner must hand-deliver or mail the filled in forms to the court. The forms must be accompanied with a filing fee. In July 2008, the fee was 250 USD. If the Petitioner does not have the money to pay the fees, he or she must file Forma Pauperis (Form 228).

The filing fee is reduced to 75 USD, in case of the following conditions:

  • The below mentioned documents are totally complete:
    • Acceptance of Service (Defendant)
    • Proposed Final Order (inclusive of parent / child contact, parental rights and responsibilities, property)
    • Final Divorce Stipulation
    • Proposed Temporary Order
    • Child Support Worksheet
    • Child Support Stipulation and Proposed Order
    • Affidavit of Income and Assets (Form 813)
    • Health Department Vermont Record of Divorce or Annulment
    • Form 836
    • Form 800
  • Both the divorcing partners agree with each other regarding the terms of the final divorce
  • The court concludes that the documents that are filed are acceptable

It is to be remembered that before filing a petition, residency requirements of state of Vermont have to be met up with. These residency conditions are of six months for filing a petition and of one year stay for obtaining a final order of divorce.

Vermont Divorce Steps pertaining to Case Manager Conference

  • The court schedules a date for a case manager conference and notifies both the divorcing partners of the same

  • It is the responsibility of the case manager to perform the following duties:
    • Assist the divorcing partners to reach a settlement on parental rights and responsibilities
    • Decide the amount of child support

  • It is compulsory that prior to the first hearing case manager conference, both the divorcing partners must perform the following:
    • File the following with the court:
      • Most recent four pay stubs from employment
      • The monthly income and expense statements since the filing of the previous tax returns (this is applicable for self-employed persons)
      • Documentation of all remaining income that has been attained since the previous filed income tax return like pension, disability, unemployment compensation, workers compensation, social security

  • Fill completely and exchange Form 813 (Affidavit of Income and Assets) along with all attachments

  • Exchange tax returns along with all attachments related to the previous 2 years. Then, they must file a written certification with the court that this exchange is complete

If the divorcing partners fail to reach an agreement regarding the divorce issues then the court schedules a final contested hearing and notifies the partners regarding this date. During the hearing, the judge makes decisions regarding various issues and signs the final divorce order. Then, there is a waiting period of three months that is given as a last chance of reconciliation for a couple. After the completion of this period, the divorce is finalized. The court might decrease this period using its discretion in some cases.

This is the way in which Vermont divorce steps work to bring out the final result of a divorce. As mentioned above, the importance of every steps and requirements will be different from case to case.

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