Family Law and Parentage
It is Vermont’s policy that the legal rights, privileges, duties and obligations of parents be established for the benefit of all children, regardless of whether the child is born during marriage or out of wedlock.
Parentage may be decided:
- Voluntarily by the parents of the child by filling out and signing a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Parentage Form.
- By Family Court after it has held a hearing.
- By the Court’s approval of a Stipulation of the parties via an order of the Court.
This order may also include provisions relating to the obligations of parentage, including future child support, visitation and custody. The Court may even require, upon motion of a party, that the defendant or defendants, and any acknowledged parent submit to appropriate genetic testing for the determination of parentage. It should be noted that a person alleged to be a parent shall be rebuttably presumed to be the parent of the child if the alleged parent falls within certain statutory provisions.
Calculating estimated child support payments
Child support is ordered by the Court pursuant to specific Child Support Guidelines and is usually determined by a review of the parties’ current incomes and the child care and health insurance costs associated with the minor child(ren). However, the Court may adjust the amount of child support if the guidelines, as applied, are determined to be unfair to the child or any party.
The Vermont Department for Children and Families website provides child support guidelines and a useful tool that can be used to compile data related to a child support case and to obtain a recommendation for child support amounts.