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Vermont Divorce & Finances

UPDATED: February 16, 2020

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The division of joint finances during a divorce can be a time given to anxiety, stress, and confusion. You might understandably have a number of questions about your finances after a divorce. How is property divided? What are the tax implications of your divorce? Do you and your ex-spouse have estate planning issues to settle? What is spousal support, and if it is granted, what will the amount and duration of these payments be? The following topics address some laws specific to Vermont divorce and finances.


Vermont Property Division/Community Property/Debts:

Vermont is an “equitable distribution” state. Marital property will thus be distributed on terms considered to be fair. Note that “fair” does not necessarily mean equal. In the equitable distribution adjudication, the court will consider, among other things, the contributions of each spouse to the marital estate, the total value of the properties of the parties, the economic circumstances of each party, any misconduct that may have occurred, and the amount of spousal support awarded. 

Vermont Spousal Support:

Spousal support is a court-ordered monetary payment from one spouse to another after divorce. The court has the right to order spousal support at the same time that it issues a divorce decree. In Vermont, spousal support may only be ordered if the court finds that it is necessary, but a divorce in itself does not create any automatic obligation for either spouse to support the other. Where the court does grant spousal support (also called “alimony” or “maintenance”), it does so on a case-by-case basis and in consideration of many factors, including:

  1. The financial resources of the party seeking support;
  2. The time and input of resources necessary for the party seeking support to find appropriate employment and sufficient education/training for that employment;
  3. The established subjective standard of living during the marriage;
  4. Marriage duration;
  5. Physical and emotional condition of the party seeking support; and
  6. The ability of the proposed supporting spouse to meet his/her own needs while meeting those of the other spouse.

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