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Family Division

Parental Rights and Responsibilities

Windham District/Family Courthouse

Frequently Asked Questions
expand  How do I change parental rights and responsibilities (once known as "custody") if I was divorced in another state?
expand  If my child's father and I were not married is he legally the father?
No.  You will need to establish parentage.  Which is the process of legally establishing whom the father of a child is if the child's parents are not married. If the parents are married when the child is born, the law recognizes them as the legal parents.
The law assumes that the mother is the biological parent of the child, but even if the mother and father are living together or if the father's name is on the birth certificate, Vermont law does not recognize him as the father until a court has legally established his paternity.
expand  What are the two major parts to parental rights and responsibilties?
expand  What does Parent Child contact mean?
Parent child contact is the term used to describe what has been known in the past as“visitation.” Visitation is no longer used because of the negative impact it can haveon children. Children are dependent on the love and support of both of their parentsto grow and develop into healthy adults. Children do not visit with one of theirparents. They spend as much quality time as possible with each parent.
Children need to be able to spend as much time as possible with each of theirparents. When parents separate, their children should not be denied the opportunityto spend quality time with each of their parents. If the parents had remainedtogether, the children would have enjoyed access to each parent on a daily basis.Therefore, unless there are good reasons to limit the contact a parent has with the
children, the parenting plan should include contact with both parents on a regularbasis.
The ending of a relationship is often very emotional. Parents may be angry at oneanother over broken commitments and feelings of being deceived and cheated.Children who are exposed to their parents' arguments often blame themselves forthe fights of their parents. Sometimes the children feel they have to pick "sides"between their parents. Parents need to be particularity sensitive to their children and
keep them out of their adult conflicts. Unless physical or emotional abuse is involved,the reasons people have for ending their relationships are not reasons for children to
change their relationship with their parents.
expand  What is Parental Rights and Responsibilities?