Vermont divorce courts have discretion to grant alimony or spousal support payments to either spouse. The court will consider all information presented during the dissolution proceedings and will grant support payments on a case-by-case basis.
Types of Spousal Support
- Temporary – the court may grant during the proceedings if one spouse requests it.
- Short-Term – the court may grant limited support, especially for purposes of obtaining skills needed for one spouse to become more employable.
- Long-Term or Permanent – may be granted by the court in cases where circumstances demand, such as lengthy marriages where one party is unable to be self-supporting.
Who is Eligible for Alimony in Vermont
A Vermont court may order either spouse to pay alimony if it is equitable to do so. The court will determine whether to grant alimony based on whether the spouse seeking alimony:
- 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 parties.
Vermont Alimony Guidelines (Factors for Awarding Alimony)
Alimony will be ordered for amounts and for periods of time as the court deems in the interests of justice, after considering relevant factors, including:
- Financial resources of the party seeking alimony, the property awarded to the party, the party's ability to meet needs, and the extent to which a provision for support of a child living with the party contains a sum for that party as custodian;
- Time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking alimony to find employment;
- Standard of living established during marriage;
- Duration of the marriage;
- Age and condition of each spouse;
- Ability of the spouse from whom alimony is sought to meet his or her reasonable needs while paying alimony; and
- inflation as related to the cost of living.
Reasons for Termination or Modification of Alimony in Vermont
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.
Marital Fault in Vermont
A divorce can be granted under Vermont laws based on living separate and apart for six months. Vermont laws also recognize the following fault-based grounds for divorce:
- Intolerable severity;
- Willful desertion; or
- Incurable insanity.
How Long Does Spousal Support Last in Vermont?
Spousal support length varies greatly according to need. Duration of the marriage and contributions made during marriage are important factors in determining the duration of any support award.
Vermont Alimony Taxes
To determine the best strategy for your taxes, discuss your support agreement with a knowledgeable attorney. Alimony is considered income for federal tax purposes if it is court ordered and paid in installments.
Find an Alimony Attorney in Vermont
A family law attorney is in the best position to help you through a divorce. A Vermont attorney knowledgeable in divorce law will advocate on your behalf, helping you to protect your income, assets and rights.