Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to subnav
Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.

NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.

Title 14 : Decedents Estates and Fiduciary Relations

Chapter 111 : Guardianship

Subchapter 002 : Persons for Whom Guardians Appointed

(Cite as: 14 V.S.A. § 2666)
  • § 2666. Modification; termination

    (a) A modification or termination of the permanent guardianship may be requested by the permanent guardian, the child if the child is age 14 or older, or the Commissioner for Children and Families. A modification or termination may also be ordered by the Probate Division of the Superior Court on its own initiative.

    (b) Where the permanent guardianship is terminated by the Probate Division of the Superior Court order or the death of the permanent guardian, the custody and guardianship of the child shall not revert to the parent, but to the Commissioner for Children and Families as if the child had been abandoned. If a successor permanent guardian has been named in the initial permanent guardianship order, custody shall transfer to the successor guardian, without reverting first to the Commissioner. The Probate Division of the Superior Court shall notify the Department when custody transfers to the Commissioner or the successor guardian. At any time during the first six months of the successor guardianship, the Probate Division may, upon its own motion and independent of its regular review process, hold a hearing to determine, by a preponderance of the evidence, whether the successor permanent guardian continues to meet the requirements under subdivision 2664(a)(4) of this title.

    (1) Upon the death of the permanent guardian or when the permanent guardianship is otherwise terminated by order of the Probate Division, the Probate Division shall issue an order placing the child in the custody of the Commissioner and shall immediately notify the Department for Children and Families, the State’s Attorney, and the Family Division.

    (2) The order transferring the child’s legal custody to the Commissioner shall have the same legal effect as a similar order issued by the Family Division under the authority of 33 V.S.A. chapters 51-53.

    (3) After the Probate Division issues the order transferring legal custody of the child, the State shall commence proceedings under the authority of 33 V.S.A. chapters 51-53 as if the child were abandoned.

    (c) An order for modification or termination of the permanent guardianship shall be based on a finding by a preponderance of the evidence that there has been a substantial change in material circumstances, or that one or more findings required by subsection 2664(a) of this title no longer can be supported by the evidence, and that the proposed modification or termination is in the best interests of the child.

    (d) The burden of proof shall be on the party seeking the modification or termination.

    (e) In the event that it is necessary to appoint a successor permanent guardian, the parent may be considered with no greater priority than a third party. (Added 1999, No. 162 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 2009, No. 97 (Adj. Sess.), § 6; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238a, eff. Feb. 1, 2011; 2015, No. 153 (Adj. Sess.), § 23; 2015, No. 170 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2016.)