Vermont Divorce Custody
According to Vermont divorce custody laws, as mentioned in 664 of Vermont Statutes, the best interests of the child must be kept in mind while awarding custody of the child. The following factors are considered while awarding child custody in the state of Vermont:
- Judges prefer to award joint custody to both the parents as Vermont courts believe in nurturing care of the child in a healthy atmosphere brought up by both the parents. If both the parents are willing to cooperate with each other in terms of child care and it suits the best interests of the child, then joint custody of the child is given to the parents.
- Physical custody of the child may be joint or sole depending upon the practical feasibility of the situation. The parent who gets the responsibility of the child’s housing and day-to-day care is known to have the physical custody of the child. This custody responsibility may be split up where the parents may take up the daily routine of the child and divide his/her time so that the child is well taken care of. In such cases, it is imperative for the parents to keep aside their differences and focus on the child’s welfare and care. VT divorce custody cases generally have one parent getting the physical custody of the child while the other parent gets the visitation rights of the child. Thus, the non-custodial parent has access to the child’s weekends, summer vacations holidays etc where he/she can take the child for trips and spend the time fruitfully.
- The parent, who offers to provide a stable family unit and a community which the child is used to, is preferred in Vermont child custody cases.
- Judges also try to analyze the presence of physical abuse, domestic violence or child neglect or child abuse in the family. The offending parent does not get the custody of the child in such circumstances. The State of Vermont tries to ensure safety and welfare of the child in all circumstances.
- Child custody is not awarded based on gender and race of the parent. If a parent is found to be unfit or mentally/physically incapable of raising the child, then custody would not be awarded to that parent. Again, financial capability of the parent is not an issue of contention in custody cases. VT child support laws ensure that the financial needs of the child are taken care of.
- Even if a court denies parental rights and duties such as visitation rights to a parent because that offending parent is detrimental to the welfare and safety of the child, yet he/she has complete access to the child’s records, documents etc pertaining to religion, education, medical records etc.