Vermont Divorce Laws And Marital Home Division


In today’s society, divorce has become an increasingly prevalent occurrence, as more and more individuals opt for a legal separation. However, amidst this development, the division of properties, particularly the marital home, often emerges as a convoluted matter. Thankfully, Vermont divorce laws provide a precise framework that governs this process, offering legal guidelines that both parties must adhere to during the division proceedings.

The Enigma of Equitable Distribution System

When it comes to the division of property in a divorce case, Vermont has embraced the equitable distribution system. This unique approach entails the court dividing the assets and liabilities of the marital estate in accordance with each spouse’s contribution to the property during the marriage.

It is important to note that contributions can take various forms, including both financial and non-financial aspects, such as child rearing or home maintenance. In order to ascertain the extent of each spouse’s contribution, the court takes into consideration a multitude of factors, such as earning capacity, age, health, and the individual needs of each party involved.

Decoding the Significance of the Marital Home

The marital home reigns as one of the most significant assets entangled in a divorce case. Its sentimental value and role as a potential source of financial stability make it a critical consideration during the division of property process.

In Vermont, the marital property encompasses any property acquired during the marriage, including the marital home, regardless of whose name the property is registered under. Notably, it is not uncommon for a marital home to have an associated mortgage, which adds another layer of complexity to the division proceedings.

Unveiling the Worth of the Marital Home

Prior to dividing the marital home between the divorcing parties, the court must first ascertain its value. This determination is achieved through a home appraisal, which provides an impartial opinion of the property’s value based on the prevailing market conditions.

To ensure accuracy, a licensed appraiser conducts the essential appraisal. Given the fluctuating nature of the marital home’s value, periodic appraisals may be necessary in order to obtain precise and up-to-date values.

Exploring the Array of Options for Dividing the Marital Home

When it comes to dividing the marital home, there exists a range of options available to the divorcing parties, each with its own merits and considerations.

Option 1: Sell the Marital Home

One of the most commonly pursued options is selling the marital home. This path involves selling the property and subsequently dividing the proceeds between the parties in accordance with either an agreement or a court order.

Option 2: One Party Keeps the Marital Home

Another viable alternative is for one party to retain ownership of the marital home. This course of action can be pursued if the spouse intending to keep the home possesses the financial means to purchase the other party’s share of the property.

To ensure fairness, the other spouse must agree upon a reasonable price, which must then receive the court’s approval. Additionally, the spouse desiring to keep the marital home would need to refinance the mortgage on the property, effectively eliminating the other spouse’s name from the mortgage.

Option 3: Shared Ownership of the Marital Home

Lastly, the marital home can be divided directly between the divorcing parties. This unique approach involves both spouses living in the house mutually for a predetermined period of time while the other spouse temporarily relocates.

During this time, the parties may choose to jointly own the home, allowing one spouse to purchase the other’s share of the property once the agreed-upon timeline has elapsed.


Divorce represents a distressing and emotionally taxing process. The division of property, including the marital home, adds an extra layer of complexity, necessitating the assistance of an experienced attorney specialized in Vermont divorce laws.

By immersing yourself in an understanding of the legal requirements concerning the division of marital homes, you can navigate the divorce process more effectively, ultimately ensuring a fair and equitable distribution of your marital assets.

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