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How is property split during divorce in Vermont?

On Behalf of | Feb 27, 2024 | Divorce, Family Law |

Divorce sometimes involves taking apart the life you’ve built with your spouse. Everything you’ve acquired and shared during your marriage must now be tallied, evaluated and then divided. Although a clean 50/50 split seems appropriate, Vermont abides by equitable distribution, which strives for fairness rather than equality.

What property is divided in a divorce?

During your marriage, you and your former spouse likely acquired or earned assets, including your home, cars, bank accounts, or accrued debts.  All these assets qualify as marital property and are subject to equitable division upon divorce.

How does property division occur?

Throughout the divorce proceedings, you will have the chance to work out a settlement with your spouse that feels fair to you both. If the judge agrees that your agreement is fair and reasonable, they will be inclined to approve it.

Despite your best efforts, saying yes to everything can be difficult. If you cannot find common ground with your former spouse, you can give mediation a try or let the court decide.

In mediation, a neutral third party will help you and your former spouse communicate and negotiate until you reach a mutually satisfactory decision. If mediation is not for you, a judge can step in to divide your property, or at least the contested assets, with fairness in mind.

What factors does the court consider when dividing property?

When it comes to property division in Vermont, judges consider several key factors to ensure a fair distribution, including:

  • The duration of your marriage
  • Your respective ages and health conditions
  • Your employment status and earning capacity
  • The financial and non-financial contributions to each other’s education, training, or capacity to earn
  • The original owner of the property
  • Your individual behaviors during the marriage, including any instances of abuse, substance misuse or infidelity

Once the judge finalizes your divorce, reversing the decisions made will be challenging, if at all possible. If you want more control over the outcome, striving to reach an agreement with your former spouse may help. However, if negotiating with your former spouse feels impossible, consulting a family law attorney may be advisable. With an advocate on your side, you might have a better chance of moving forward with what is most important to you.