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Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

The Vermont Statutes Online does not include the actions of the 2024 session of the General Assembly. We expect them to be updated by November 1st.

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

Title 15 : Domestic Relations

Chapter 023 : Civil Unions

(Cite as: 15 V.S.A. § 1204)
  • § 1204. Benefits, protections, and responsibilities of parties to a civil union

    (a) Parties to a civil union shall have all the same benefits, protections, and responsibilities under law, whether they derive from statute, administrative or court rule, policy, common law, or any other source of civil law, as are granted to spouses in a civil marriage.

    (b) A party to a civil union shall be included in any definition or use of the terms “spouse,” “family,” “immediate family,” “dependent,” “next of kin,” and other terms that denote the spousal relationship, as those terms are used throughout the law.

    (c) Parties to a civil union shall be responsible for the support of one another to the same degree and in the same manner as prescribed under law for married persons.

    (d) The law of domestic relations, including annulment, separation, and divorce; child custody and support; and property division and maintenance shall apply to parties to a civil union.

    (e) The following is a nonexclusive list of legal benefits, protections, and responsibilities of spouses, which shall apply in like manner to parties to a civil union:

    (1) laws relating to title, tenure, descent and distribution, intestate succession, waiver of will, survivorship, or other incidents of the acquisition, ownership, or transfer, inter vivos or at death, of real or personal property, including eligibility to hold real and personal property as tenants by the entirety (parties to a civil union meet the common law unity of person qualification for purposes of a tenancy by the entirety);

    (2) causes of action related to or dependent upon spousal status, including an action for wrongful death, emotional distress, loss of consortium, dramshop, or other torts or actions under contracts reciting, related to, or dependent upon spousal status;

    (3) probate law and procedure, including nonprobate transfer;

    (4) adoption law and procedure;

    (5) group insurance for State employees under 3 V.S.A. § 631, and continuing care contracts under 8 V.S.A. § 8005;

    (6) spouse abuse programs under 3 V.S.A. § 18;

    (7) prohibitions against discrimination based upon marital status;

    (8) victim’s compensation rights under 13 V.S.A. § 5351;

    (9) workers’ compensation benefits;

    (10) laws relating to emergency and nonemergency medical care and treatment, hospital visitation and notification, including the Patient’s Bill of Rights under 18 V.S.A. chapter 42 and the Nursing Home Residents’ Bill of Rights under 33 V.S.A. chapter 73;

    (11) advance directives under 18 V.S.A. chapter 111;

    (12) family leave benefits under 21 V.S.A. chapter 5, subchapter 4A;

    (13) public assistance benefits under State law;

    (14) laws relating to taxes imposed by the State or a municipality;

    (15) laws relating to immunity from compelled testimony and the marital communication privilege;

    (16) the homestead rights of a surviving spouse under 27 V.S.A. § 105 and homestead property tax allowance under 32 V.S.A. § 6062;

    (17) laws relating to loans to veterans under 8 V.S.A. § 1849;

    (18) the definition of family farmer under 10 V.S.A. § 272;

    (19) laws relating to the making, revoking and objecting to anatomical gifts by others under 18 V.S.A. § 5250i;

    (20) State pay for military service under 20 V.S.A. § 1544;

    (21) application for early voter absentee ballot under 17 V.S.A. § 2532;

    (22) family landowner rights to fish and hunt under 10 V.S.A. § 4253;

    (23) legal requirements for assignment of wages under 8 V.S.A. § 2235; and

    (24) affirmance of relationship under 15 V.S.A. § 7.

    (f) The rights of parties to a civil union, with respect to a child of whom either becomes the natural parent during the term of the civil union, shall be the same as those of a married couple, with respect to a child of whom either spouse becomes the natural parent during the marriage. (Added 1999, No. 91 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; amended 2001, No. 6, § 12(a), eff. April 10, 2001; 2001, No. 140 (Adj. Sess.), § 19, eff. June 21, 2002; 2009, No. 3, § 12a, eff. Sept. 1, 2009; 2009, No. 119 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)