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Vermont Alimony

In Vermont, courts order alimony in amounts and for periods of time as the court deems in the interests of justice.

A Vermont court may order either spouse to pay alimony if it is equitable. The courts have discretion to grant alimony to either spouse, and consider all information presented during the dissolution proceedings, awarding support on a case-by-case basis.

The court decides to grant alimony when the spouse seeking it lacks sufficient income, property, or both, including property awarded in the divorce settlement, to provide for reasonable needs, and is unable to be self-supporting through appropriate employment at the standard of living established during the marriage, or is the custodian of a child of the marriage.

The duration of spousal support varies according to need. Duration of the marriage and contributions made during marriage are important factors in determining the duration of any support award.

A party seeking modification has the burden of proving that the circumstances warrant a modification or termination of alimony payments. The change of circumstances must be substantial.

The paying party may deduct support payments from federal taxes, and the recipient must claim such payments as income.

Types of Alimony

In Vermont courts may order temporary, short- and long-term alimony. Temporary alimony is granted at the discretion of the court during the divorce proceedings and before the final decree. Short-term alimony may be granted to allow the receiving party time to gain necessary skills. Long-term, or permanent, maintenance may be granted to a spouse who has significant needs, and is usually reserved for lengthy marriages.

Factors Considered by the Court

In Vermont alimony is discretionary. According to Vermont Statutes - Title 15 - Section 752 and 757, when making a support order, the court considers:

  • the financial resources of the party desiring maintenance;
  • the time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment;
  • the standard of living established while married;
  • the duration of the marriage;
  • the age and health condition of each spouse;
  • the ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet his or her reasonable needs while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance; and
  • inflation with relation to the cost of living.

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