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Vermont Child Support
Child Support in Vermont

In Vermont, either or both parents may be ordered to pay child support, and health insurance coverage for the child, based on the following factors:

  • the financial resources of the child;
  • the financial resources of the custodial parent;
  • the standard of living the child would have enjoyed if the marital relationship had not ended;
  • the physical and emotional health and the educational needs of the child;
  • the financial resources, needs and obligations of the noncustodial parent;
  • inflation as it relates to the cost of living;
  • the cost of any educational needs for a parent if the costs are incurred for the purpose of increasing the earning capacity of the parent;
  • extraordinary travel and other travel related expenses incurred in exercising the right to parent child contact;
  • and any other relevant factors.

The courts use the Vermont Child Support guidelines to determine the child support. The guidelines will be followed unless the parents have agreed to a different child support amount or the courts determine the guidelines are unjust for a particular case.

Health insurance coverage for the child may be ordered. The court may require security or wage withholding. Every order of child support is made subject to a wage assignment in the event of delinquency and requires the payments to be made to the registry in the Office of Child Support, unless the situation falls under an exception to the rules shown in Vermont Statutes Annotated; Title 33, Section 4103. In cases where one parent is granted sole custody of the child, the noncustodial parent is required to send his or her support payments directly to the custodial parent.

The child support guidelines available from the Vermont Department of Human Services are presumed to be correct, unless they are shown to be unfair in a particular case. There is an official child support computation worksheet available. Child support law is described in Vermont Statutes Annotated; Title 15, Sections 653 to 669, 757, and 781 to 783, Title 33, Section 4103, and Vermont Rules for Family Proceedings; Rule 4.

Vermont child support is typically calculated by using a Child Support Worksheet. The worksheet generates an appropriate Vermont child support obligation according to each spouse's income and factors such as taxes paid and retirement contributions. It is essential to take a look at any appropriate Vermont child support deviation factors that may be applicable to the situation. Additional information about Vermont child support can be found in the Vermont state statutes.

Even when payment routine results from a joint agreement of the parents, Vermont courts modify or even annul child support orders when one of the parties faces a significant change in economic circumstances. Significant changes include going on workers' compensation, unemployment benefits, or disability.

Vermont's child support guidelines take into consideration the percentage of income that parents living together would normally spend on their children. The law attempts to ensure that children do not receive less financial support as a result of their parents' failed marriage.

The Income Shares Model estimates the amount of support that would have been available if the marriage had not failed. This estimated amount is then divided proportionally to the parents according to each parent's income. This is easy to do using the Vermont child support worksheet. Pay records typically substantiate the estimated incomes.

This routine takes into account both parents' gross income and applies a percentage to it based on the number of minor children they have together. The court takes the combined income of both parents and works out the proportion each contributes. That figure is then divided proportionately based on each parent's ability to pay and which parent has primary custody.

If the noncustodial parent has a higher income than the custodial parent, the noncustodial parent would then be responsible for the greater portion of the child support obligation; conversely, if the noncustodial parent has a lower income than the custodial, the noncustodial parent would then be responsible for the smaller portion of the child support obligation.

A spouse involved in a child support proceeding in Vermont must file a financial statement with the court. The opposing party may inspect this statement if he or she wishes. Failure to file this information with the court can result in the offender giving a financial award to the opposing party.

Calculate Vermont Child Support

Other Expenses and Deductions

Extraordinary expenses are either add-ons, where the expense is added to the support payment, or deductions, where the amount is deducted, and indicated as either mandatory or permissive. Childcare and extraordinary medical expenses are considered mandatory deductions.

Generally, the decision as to which parent is going to provide medical insurance coverage for the child and how medical bills will be paid is set out in the marital settlement agreement. If it is not, the courts may order a parent to provide health insurance coverage for the child. Usually, if a reasonable medical insurance plan is available through one of the parent's employment, parents are required to cover their child on it.

Extraordinary medical expenses and childcare expenses are add on expenses.

Child Support Enforcement

Office of Child Support (OCS) is the state agency responsible for establishing, collecting upon, enforcing, and modifying support orders for children who do not live with both parents. The OCS helps custodial parents establish parentage; establish an order for child and medical support; modify or enforce an existing order for child and medical support; make support payments to the custodial parent; and locate a missing noncustodial parent.

Services are available to parents and guardians of children under 18 or still in high school. There is a $5 monthly fee for services limited to recording and distributing support payments through the OCS Registry; otherwise, all OCS services are free at this time.

OCS can take both administrative action and court action. Administrative actions include wage withholding, an increase in wage withholding in arrears, the lottery offset, liens, attachments, state and federal tax refund interception, passport denial.

Vermont OCS pursues missing, noncompliant or delinquent noncustodial parents by working with other Vermont agencies and those of other states to collect child support. Vermont OCS takes the same steps to enforce out-of-state orders that it does to enforce in-state orders. Since 1998, the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act requires cooperation among state child support agencies in the enforcement of child support.

Before OCS can start any enforcement action, a parent must be registered. The Vermont OCS number is 1-800-786-3214.

OCS enforces court-ordered medical coverage by:

  • notifying the noncustodial parent's employer of the court-ordered requirement to enroll dependent children in health insurance coverage via a National Medical Support Notice;
  • making sure the children are enrolled in health insurance if it is available at a reasonable cost; and
  • notifying the custodial parent of the coverage being provided.

If an employer fails to comply with a National Medical Support Notice, OCS evaluates the case and decides how to proceed.

If you need help enforcing child and medical support, please contact the OCS Helpline by phone at 1-800-786-3214 or by email at [email protected]

More information about Vermont Child Support Enforcement can be found at their website.


Generally, the obligation ends when the child reaches 18 years of age or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later. A child will also automatically be ineligible for child support if that child marries, is no longer disabled as determined by the court, or the child dies.

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