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Grounds for Divorce

When filing for divorce, the plaintiff (the spouse who initiates the divorce lawsuit) must declare one of the officially established grounds in the Complaint for Divorce. In Vermont, it can be either a fault-based or no-fault ground for divorce. The difference is that all the fault-based grounds must be proven by the plaintiff before the court, since they blame the second spouse for the marriage breakdown.

In Vermont, fault-based grounds for divorce are adultery, imprisonment for at least three years, intolerable severity in either spouse, extreme cruelty, willful desertion for seven years, and persistent refusal or neglect on the part of one spouse to provide proper support for the other spouse.

The only no-fault ground for divorce in Vermont is living separate and apart for at least six months provided that the court finds that there is no hope for reconciliation.

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