Legal Separation in Vermont

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Legal separation in Vermont is used for the people who want to go for an absolute divorce but are unable due to some reasons such as religious beliefs, welfare of their children, perks of being 'married' (though, only for the namesake), etc.

A legal separation in Vermont is considered as a temporary “break” or a permanent separation settlement agreement which can be used as a blueprint for the divorce proceedings if the couple eventually decides to go for an absolute divorce.

Legal separation is allowed in the state of Vermont and the couple remains legally married even after being legally separated. Vermont is a state where the documentation for separation is recognized by the state. The court issues a Decree of Separation dividing the property, and resolving the marital issues such as child custody, support and visitation along with the tax exemptions and benefits and alimony.

The residency requirement for the legal separation in Vermont is six months prior to the date of filing the petition.

Settlement Agreement in Vermont:

As the statute of Vermont recognizes the documentation for legal separation, it is mandatory to file a settlement agreement with the county courthouse by mutually arriving to the decisions about the property division, child care, health care, medical benefits, insurance coverage, alimony, etc. all the marital issues which may create a conflict later on.

Hire a professional attorney so that you prepare an agreement which is beneficial to both the parties and none of you ends up paying more or getting less than is actually necessary.

There are legal separation experts in the state of Vermont who are specialized in the separation field and they can guide you effortlessly towards a beneficial legal separation. The separation agreement in Vermont is legally enforceable once it is approved by the court and signed by the couple.

Grounds for Legal Separation in Vermont:

There are specific grounds defined by the statute of Vermont for the couple to be eligible for a legal separation. These grounds are same as required for an absolute divorce in the state of Vermont. Let's have a detailed look at these grounds:

  • Adultery - If a partner cheats on the other by sleeping with a third person, having extra-marital affair or extreme flirting ending up in one night stands and flings, it is termed as committing adultery. The other spouse is entitled to file for a separation in such a case. Adultery also comprises of sending obscene text messages or e-mails to other people, overt display of sexuality, etc.
  • Extreme Cruelty - Hitting a spouse, incapacitating him / her to lead their day-to-day life, mental torture such as suspiciousness, threats or sexual overtures such as sadomasochism, indulging in weird sexual practices which are life-threatening for a partner also comes under extreme cruelty and in such cases, separation is granted immediately.
  • Voluntary Separation - If the couple is living separately for over then six months in a row, they are entitled to file for a legal separation on the basis of voluntary separation. However, they should not be indulging in sexual relations or socializing as a married couple even for parents' meetings or office parties.
  • Imprisonment - If a spouse is convicted of felony and imprisoned for more than three years, the other spouse can file for separation citing imprisonment as the reason for separation. Besides, the spouse imprisoned is also unable to provide for his family thus unable to serve the main purpose of being in the family and contributing to make a good life for the family.
  • Neglect - If a spouse is unable to provide the basic necessities of his family such as education, basic facilities, etc. due to reasons such as habitual substance abuse, terminal illness or incapacity to earn, the other spouse can file for separation.
  • Abandonment - This is also called a “missing spouse”. If a spouse is unaware of the whereabouts of their partner, the marriage is considered to be broken and the couple can be granted separation through the decree of separation.
  • Insanity - If a partner is suffering from permanent or temporary insanity, he / she can seriously endanger the well-being of his / her family. The couple can be granted separation on the grounds of insanity and the childcare becomes a responsibility of the sane parent with the visitation rights to the disabled parent.
Resolving the Marital Issues:

The couple can reach a mutual agreement regarding the marital issues. Vermont is an equitable distribution state and if one goes to the court to resolve these issues, you are bound to go by the court orders which divides your property and other assets equitably rather than equally. It considers all the property as the joint property and divides it on the basis of duration of marriage, age and health of both the spouses, dependency on each other, occupation, earning capacity, source of income, amount earned each month, monetary awards earned, pension plans, retirement plans, insurance coverage and everything else comes under the scanner and couple is bound to follow it as it is legally enforceable.

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