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Vermont Divorce Forms
This is a list of the most commonly filed divorce forms for the state of Vermont. Following the list is a brief summary of each form and its purpose. This list of forms is not exhaustive and not all forms listed are required for every divorce. Due to unique case situations and special divorce filing procedures in Vermont, certain forms may or may not be required by the Vermont courts.
Cover Sheet (Form #800)
The Cover Sheet, filed by the Plaintiff, gives the particulars of the case, and it stipulates the manner by which the Defendant will be served.
Summons, Complaint for Divorce and Notice for Appearance (Form #835) or A Summons, Complaint for Divorce, Notice for Appearance, and an Affidavit of Child Custody (Form #836)
In a divorce where the spouses agree about the divorce and its terms and conditions, the couple may file combined divorce papers. When the couple agree, a Plaintiff in a marriage without children may file a combined Summons, Complaint for Divorce and Notice for Appearance; likewise, a Plaintiff in a marriage with children may file a combined Summons, Complaint for Divorce, Notice for Appearance, and an Affidavit of Child Custody. The use of these combined forms expedites the dissolution of the marriage.
Notice of Appearance (Form #831)
The Notice of Appearance, signed by the Defendant, enters his or her appearance in the action when he or she does not wish to file an Answer but wishes to prevent a Default Judgment against him or her. The Notice of Appearance must be notarized.
Summons (Form #832)
The Summons informs the Defendant that he or she has 20 days to answer the Complaint or face a default judgment against him or her. If the Defendant files an Answer, he or she may also file a Counterclaim.
Complaint for Divorce (Form #833)
The Complaint for Divorce identifies the parties, the history of the marriage, the children and the relief sought. The Complaint must be notarized.
Affidavit of Child Custody (Form #834)
The Affidavit of Child Custody, filed by the plaintiff and notarized, identifies the children of the marriage, states their residential history for the past five years and stipulates whether or not the Plaintiff is involved in any pending litigation concerning the custody of the children, whether or not the children are involved in custody litigation in Vermont or any other state as well as identifying any other party who has physical custody or makes claims of custody or visitation.
Acceptance of Service
The Acceptance of Service, when signed by the Defendant, means he or she accepts the divorce papers. In this routine, when divorce papers, which includes the Summons and Complaint and the Notice of Appearance, are delivered by the Plaintiff to the Defendant, he or she signs the Acceptance of Service. By signing, the Defendant waives formal Service of Process. When couples agree to the divorce, this route is the most commonly used path to a divorce.
Health Department Vermont Record of Divorce or Annulment
This form records the divorce or annulment for the state Department of Vital Statistics.
Final Divorce Stipulation
The Final Divorce Stipulation memorializes the separation agreement that a divorcing couple have negotiated.
Affidavit as to Military Service on Default of Appearance by the Defendant (Form 231)
The Affidavit as to Military Service on Default of Appearance by the Defendant, which must be notarized, establishes the military status of the Defendant to insure compliance with the Servicemembers' Civil Relief Act.
Affidavit of Income and Assets (Form #813)
Affidavit of Income and Assets provides financial information about both spouses. The court uses the information in this 17-page form to determine child support payments.
Child Support Order, page 1 (Form #802)
Only the first page of the Child Support Order, which stipulates support paid by the Noncustodial to the Custodial parent, is completed until the final Divorce Decree is issued after the divorce hearing.
Answer and Counterclaim
Answer to the Divorce Complaint and Notice of Appearance (Form #837) Notice of Appearance, Answer to the Divorce Complaint and Counterclaim (Form #838)
One of two forms is used to file a response to the Complaint for Divorce, and both combine the Response and the Notice of Appearance. The Answer to the Divorce Complaint, filed by the Defendant, permits him or her to agree or disagree with the allegations in the Complaint. The Notice of Appearance means the Defendant accepts the jurisdiction of the court and enters his appearance in the case. The Counterclaim permits the Defendant to make his or her claims in the divorce action. If the Defendant changes his or her mind after a Counterclaim has been filed, the Counterclaim prevents the divorce from being dismissed.
Vermont is an equitable distribution state, meaning that the marital estate is divided equitably, not necessarily equally. Title to the property, whether in the names of the husband, the wife, both parties, or a nominee, shall be immaterial, except where equitable distribution can be made without disturbing separate property. In making a property settlement, the court may consider all relevant factors, including but not limited to: the length of the marriage, the contribution by one spouse to the education, training, or increased earning power of the other, the desirability of awarding the family home or the right to live there for reasonable periods to the spouse having custody of the children, the party through whom the property was acquired, and the respective merits of the parties.
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