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The first paper filed in the Family Court is called the "Complaint". It describes a few facts about your marriage and asks the court to grant you a divorce. If you hire a lawyer, the lawyer will usually write it for you. But the Vermont courts have a form complaint that you can fill out yourself if you don't have a lawyer.


You can find blank forms for:

  • A complaint for divorce with kids here.

  • A complaint for divorce without kids here.


TIP: The forms on the State of Vermont website are really bad. I like to print them and fill them out by hand instead of filling them out on-line.


Once you have filled out the complaint, you need to file it with the right court.


Related Questions:

  • What papers do I file with the complaint?

  • Is there a fee for filing the complaint?


What are the next steps after filing the complaint?


Filing the Complaint

The first step to starting any case in the family court is filing a Complaint. Sometimes this is called a petition, especially for paternity or child support when there is no divorce. Same concept.


Can I File the Complaint on my Own?

Yes, you can. Here are links for to the forms you need to fill out (This forms include a summons as well as the complaint.)

  • A complaint for divorce with kids here.

  • A complaint for divorce without kids here.


What else do I need to file?

Once you have filled out the complaint, there are a number of additional forms you need to file at the same time. More information on these forms is here (what documents should I file with the complaint).


What Court Should I File In?

You can file the Complaint in the family court in the county where either you or your spouse lives.

Contact information and so on for these courts is here. The address and telephone numbers for the courts can be found below.

  • Addison Family Division
    7 Mahady Court · Middlebury, VT · 05753
    (802) 388-7741

  • Bennington Family Division
    200 Veterans Memorial Drive · Bennington, VT · 05201
    (802) 447-2727

  • Caledonia Family Division
    1126 Main St, Ste 1 · St Johnsbury, VT · 05819
    (802) 748-6600

  • Chittenden Family Division
    32 Cherry St, Suite 300 · Burlington, VT · 05401
    (802) 651-1709

  • Franklin Family Divison
    36 Lake St · St Albans, VT · 05478
    (802) 524-7997

  • Grand Isle Family Division
    PO Box 7 · North Hero, VT · 05474
    (802) 372-8350

  • Lamoille Family Division
    PO Box 570 · Hyde Park, VT · 05655
    (802) 888-3887

  • Orange Family Division
    5 Court St · Chelsea, VT · 05038
    (802) 685-4610

  • Orleans Family Division
    247 Main St, Suite 1 · Newport, VT · 05855
    (802) 334-3305

  • Rutland Family Division
    9 Merchants Row · Rutland, VT · 05701
    (802) 786-5856

  • Washington Family Division
    255 North Main St, 2nd Flr · Barre, VT · 05641
    (802) 479-4205

  • Windham Family Division
    30 Putney Rd (2nd floor) · Brattleboro, VT · 05301
    (802) 257-2800

  • Windsor Family Division
    82 Railroad Row · White River Jct, VT · 05001
    (802) 295-8865

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