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Vermont Child Custody Factors

In Vermont, the court will order custody to ether parent or both by considering the following factors:

(A) the relationship of the child with each parent and the ability and disposition of each parent to provide the child with love, affection and guidance;

(B) the ability and disposition of each parent to assure that the child receives adequate food, clothing, medical care, other material needs and a safe environment;

(C) the ability and disposition of each parent to meet the child’s present and future developmental needs;

(D) the quality of the child’s adjustment to the child’s present housing, school and community and the potential effect of any change;

(E) the ability and disposition of each parent to foster a positive relationship and frequent and continuing contact with the other parent

(F) the quality of the child’s relationship with the primary care provider, if appropriate given the child’s age and development;

(G) the relationship of the child with any other person who may significantly affect the child;

(H) the ability and disposition of the parents to communicate, cooperate with each other and make joint decisions concerning the children where parental rights and responsibilities are to be shared or divided; and (I) evidence of abuse. (Vermont Statutes - Title 15 - Section 664)

In Vermont, as with all other states, the court will always be looking out for the best interests of the children. What you want or your spouse wants is not really relevant until the court says it is. Many parents go to custody hearings not realizing that they must portray themselves as the best custodial parent rather pleading to the court that they simply deserve the children. The court would much prefer the parents to decide who should have custody, but if they canít, the court will do it for them. You can also read more about Vermont child custody in the Vermont state statutes located at: http://www.leg.state.vt.us/.