Child Support

The Vermont Legislature has declared as public policy that children of separated parents should get as much support as they would if their parents were living in the same household. (Title 15 Section 650) To promote this policy, Vermont has guidelines for calculating child support. In most cases, the child support one parent pays the other is based on these guidelines. In some cases the court will order a child support payment that is different from the number in the guidelines. That is called a deviation. In other cases the court may order a maintenance supplement in addition to child support. This is different from spousal maintenance.

Special considerations apply when one parent is in the military.


Ending a marriage is stressful and trying, especially if you have children. This information can help guide you through the legal process of a Vermont divorce.

Parent Coordination

The Vermont Superior Court Parent Coordination Program helps protect children from exposure to adult conflict and reduces the risk of danger to all family members.


If a woman is not married when she has a baby, the father is not legally recognized as the parent. A court order establishing parentage creates that legal recognition. When a child is born to married parents, the law recognizes both of them as the legal parents.

The law assumes that the birth mother is a child's legal parent. If the birth mother is married, the law assumes that her spouse is the child's legal parent as well. If she is not married, the other parent needs a legal order to establish parentage. That's true even if the mother and her partner are living together. And it's true even if the other claimed parent's name is on the birth certificate.

Under Vermont law, you can establish parentage until a child is 21 (or later in some cases).

There are two ways to establish parentage if you are not the child's legally recognized parent or you want to establish who the father is legally: (1) voluntary acknowledgment of parentage or (2) a parentage case in court. This section covers the reasons for establishing parentage, the voluntary acknowledgment of parentage process, and the court process for establishing parentage.

Parental Rights And Responsibilities and Parent Child Contact

Parental rights and responsibilities are often referred to as custody. There are two types. The first is the responsibility to make day-to-day decisions concerning the child's well being. The second is the responsibility to make decisions beyond those that occur daily, concerning medical, education and travel matters for example.  

Alimony/Spousal Maintenance Guidelines
Length of Marriage % of the Difference Between Parties' Gross Incomes Duration of Alimony Award As % Length of Marriage
0 to <5 years 0-20% No alimony or short-term alimony up to one year
5 to <10 years 15-35% 20-50% (1-5 years)
10 to <15 years 20-40% 40-60% (3-9 years)
15 to <20 years 24-45% 40-70% (6-14 years)
20+ years 30-50% 45% (9-20+ years)