WomensLaw is not just for women. We serve and support all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.

Important: Some courts are hearing cases virtually due to COVID. See our FAQ on Courts and COVID-19.

Legal Information: Vermont


View all
December 13, 2019

What are the exceptions to the “home state rule”?

There are exceptions to the home state rule. In some cases, you can file for custody in a state where the children and at least one parent have “significant connections.”  If you don’t think that Vermont would meet the traditional requirement for a “home state,” you may still be able to file for custody in Vermont if: 

• No other state is the “home state” according to the definition, and the court thinks that it is in the best interest of the child to decide the issue and
• The child and at least one parent have significant ties to the state and
• There is substantial evidence concerning the support of the child available in the state. 

If Vermont is your child’s home state, you may be able to file for temporary emergency custody in a different state if:

1. The child is present in that state; and
2. The child has been abandoned or it is necessary in an emergency to protect the child because the child, a parent, or sibling is subjected to or threatened with mistreatment or abuse.1

For more information on getting a custody order transferred to another state, see Changing a final custody order.  This can be very complicated, and if you think this applies to your situation, please talk to a lawyer in both states about this - you can find free and paid lawyers in your state here: VT Finding a Lawyer.  Or you can write to our Email Hotline for other resources.

1 UCCJEA § 204(a)