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Searching 2021-2022 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

 

Title 15C : Parentage Proceedings

Chapter 005 : DE FACTO PARENTAGE

(Cite as: 15C V.S.A. § 501)
  • § 501. Standard; adjudication

    (a)(1) In a proceeding to adjudicate the parentage of a person who claims to be a de facto parent of the child, if there is only one other person who is a parent or has a claim to parentage of the child, the court shall adjudicate the person who claims to be a de facto parent to be a parent of the child if the person demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence that:

    (A) the person resided with the child as a regular member of the child's household for a significant period of time;

    (B) the person engaged in consistent caretaking of the child;

    (C) the person undertook full and permanent responsibilities of a parent of the child without expectation of financial compensation;

    (D) the person held out the child as the person's child;

    (E) the person established a bonded and dependent relationship with the child that is parental in nature;

    (F) the person and another parent of the child fostered or supported the bonded and dependent relationship required under subdivision (E) of this subdivision (1); and

    (G) continuing the relationship between the person and the child is in the best interests of the child.

    (2) A parent of the child may use evidence of duress, coercion, or threat of harm to contest an allegation that the parent fostered or supported a bonded and dependent relationship as provided in subdivision (1)(F) of this subsection. Such evidence may include whether within the prior ten years, the person seeking to be adjudicated a de facto parent has been convicted of domestic assault, sexual assault, or sexual exploitation of the child or another parent of the child, was subject to a final abuse protection order pursuant to 15 V.S.A. chapter 21 because the person was found to have committed abuse against the child or another parent of the child, or was substantiated for abuse against the child or another parent of the child pursuant to 33 V.S.A. chapter 49 or 33 V.S.A. chapter 69.

    (b) In a proceeding to adjudicate the parentage of a person who claims to be a de facto parent of the child, if there is more than one other person who is a parent or has a claim to parentage of the child and the court determines that the requirements of subsection (a) of this section are met by clear and convincing evidence, the court shall adjudicate parentage under section 206 of this title, subject to other applicable limitations in this title.

    (c) The adjudication of a person as a de facto parent under this chapter does not disestablish the parentage of any other parent. (Added 2017, No. 162 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)