The Vermont Statutes Online
Subchapter 002 : PERSONS FOR WHOM GUARDIANS APPOINTED(Cite as: 14 V.S.A. § 2664)
§ 2664. Creation of permanent guardianship
(a) The Family Division of the Superior Court may establish a permanent guardianship at a permanency planning hearing or at any other hearing in which a permanent legal disposition of the child can be made, including a child protection proceeding pursuant to 33 V.S.A. § 5318 or a delinquency proceeding pursuant to 33 V.S.A. § 5232. The court shall also issue an order permitting or denying visitation, contact, or information with the parent at the same time the order of permanent guardianship is issued. Before issuing an order for permanent guardianship, the court shall find by clear and convincing evidence all of the following:
(1) Neither parent is able to assume or resume parental duties within a reasonable time.
(2) The child has resided with the permanent guardian for at least six months.
(3) A permanent guardianship is in the best interests of the child.
(4) The proposed permanent guardian:
(A)(i) is emotionally, mentally, and physically suitable to become the permanent guardian; and
(ii) is financially suitable, with kinship guardianship assistance provided for in 33 V.S.A. § 4903 if applicable, to become the permanent guardian;
(B) has expressly committed to remain the permanent guardian for the duration of the child's minority; and
(C) has expressly demonstrated a clear understanding of the financial implications of becoming a permanent guardian, including an understanding of any resulting loss of State or federal benefits or other assistance.
(b) The parent voluntarily may consent to the permanent guardianship, and shall demonstrate an understanding of the implications and obligations of the consent.
(c) After the Family Division of the Superior Court issues a final order establishing permanent guardianship, the case shall be transferred to the appropriate Probate Division of the Superior Court in the district in which the permanent guardian resides. Jurisdiction shall continue to lie in the Probate Division. Appeal of any decision by the Probate Division of the Superior Court shall be de novo to the Family Division.
(d) The Family Division of the Superior Court may name a successor permanent guardian in the initial permanent guardianship order. Prior to issuing an order naming a successor permanent guardian, the court shall find by clear and convincing evidence that the named successor permanent guardian meets the criteria in subdivision (a)(4) of this section. In the event that the permanent guardian dies or the guardianship is terminated by the Probate Division of the Superior Court, if a successor guardian is named in the initial order, custody of the child transfers to the successor guardian pursuant to subsection 2666(b) of this title. (Added 1999, No. 162 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 2009, No. 97 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 123, 123a; 2015, No. 170 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2016.)