Legal Information: Vermont


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March 29, 2017

How do I file for parental rights and responsibilities?

It depends on the particulars of your situation.  To find out what the process will be like for you, please consult a lawyer in your area.

Generally, if the parents are married, one or both of the parents usually files for PR&R as part of a divorce action.  If the parents were never married or if either is filing before seeking a divorce, either parent can file for PR&R in the county in which the child has been living for at least six months.

In Vermont, legal disputes involving child custody and child support are settled in family court.  There is a family court in every county.  Most family courts have a “case manager” who is responsible for helping families understand their legal rights and responsibilities.  The case manager can help parents reach an agreement on parental rights and responsibilities (custody), parent-child contact (visitation), child support and other matters – or pinpoint areas of disagreement – before they see a judge.  The case manager cannot make a final decision if the parents do not agree, and the parents always have the right to appear before a judge.

To contact the family court in your area, go here: VT Courthouse Locations.