Title 15: Domestic Relations
Chapter 11: ANNULMENT AND DIVORCE
15 V.S.A. § 683. Temporary modification
§ 683. Temporary modification
(a) Upon motion of a deploying or nondeploying parent, the court shall enter a temporary order modifying parental rights and responsibilities or parent-child contact during the period of deployment or mobilization when:
(1) a military parent who has shared, sole, or primary legal or physical parental rights and responsibilities for a child or who has parent-child contact pursuant to an existing court order has received notice from military leadership that he or she will deploy or mobilize in the near future; and
(2) the deployment or mobilization would have a material effect upon his or her ability to exercise such parental rights and responsibilities or parent-child contact.
(b) Motions for modification because of deployment shall be heard by the court as expeditiously as possible, and shall be a priority for this purpose.
(c)(1) All temporary modification orders shall include a specific transition schedule to facilitate a return to the predeployment order over the shortest reasonable time period after the deployment ends, taking into consideration the child's best interests.
(2) The temporary order shall set a date certain for the end of deployment and the start of the transition period. If deployment is extended, the temporary order shall remain in effect during the extended deployment, and the transition schedule shall take effect at the end of the extended deployment. In that case, the nondeployed parent shall notify the court of the extended deployment. Failure of the nondeployed parent to notify the court in accordance with this subdivision shall not prejudice the deployed parent's right to return to the prior order once the temporary order expires as provided in subdivision (3) of this subsection.
(3) The temporary order shall expire upon the completion of the transition, and the prior order for parental rights and responsibilities and parent-child contact shall be in effect.
(d) Upon motion of the deploying parent, the court may delegate his or her parent-child contact rights, or a portion of them, to a family member, a person with whom the deploying parent cohabits, or another person with a close and substantial relationship to the minor child or children for the duration of the deployment, upon a finding that it is in the child's best interests. Such delegated contact does not create separate rights to parent-child contact for a person other than a parent once the temporary order is no longer in effect.
(e) A temporary modification order issued pursuant to this section shall designate the deploying parent's parental rights and responsibilities for and parent-child contact with a child during a period of leave granted to the deploying parent, in the best interests of the child.
(f) A temporary order issued under this section may require any of the following if the court finds that it is in the best interests of the child:
(1) The nondeploying parent shall make the child reasonably available to the deploying parent when the deploying parent has leave.
(2) The nondeploying parent shall facilitate opportunities for telephonic, electronic mail, and other such contact between the deploying parent and the child during deployment.
(3) The deploying parent shall provide timely information regarding his or her leave schedule to the nondeploying parent. Actual leave dates are subject to change with little notice due to military necessity and shall not be used by the nondeploying parent to prevent parent-child contact.
(g) A court order modifying a previous order for parental rights and responsibilities or parent-child contact because of deployment shall specify that the deployment is the basis for the order, and it shall be entered by the court as a temporary order. The order shall further require the nondeploying parent to provide the court and the deploying parent with 30 days' advance written notice of any change of address and any change of telephone number. (Added 2009, No. 69 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. March 3, 2010.)