"Vermont VSA 665 seems to have it all backwards. The law currently assumes INEQUALITY and rewards the stay home parent for creating conflict. The law should be just the opposite, it should assume parental EQUALITY, and penalize a parent for creating conflict."
Overburdened Courts: The Vermont Family Court system is also unfortunately hopelessly overburdened, adding over 20,000 new family court cases per year, and costing the Vermont taxpayers over $13 million dollars per year ($700 per year to each 4 member family!).
Profiteering: Perhaps worse, 37% of all Vermont court activity is now Family Court. Vast groups of Vermont attorneys, psychologists, warden's, paralegals, etc. all working with Vermont parents to help them battle each other in court, year after year after year. This has become such a vast business for Vermont lawyers that over 80% now practice family law as their primary business, all costing Vermont taxpayers and parents thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Consitutional Right To Due Process Eliminated: In efforts to reduce court costs, Vermont judges now often pick the winner without trial (!) thereby denying the looser their fundamental constiutional right (as defined in the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution) to a fair trial! Their basis for selecting the winner is to determine who works, then award full legal custody to the non-working parent. If the working parent contests, the judge will inform the working parent off record that if they contest, they will likely be assigned all legal fees of the other non-working parent (on order of $5,000 to $15,000 dollars!), AND will likely loose time with their children if they don't stipulate to the judges demands to give up their legal right to parent.
So the working parent is then faced with the heartbreaking decision of risking loosing time with their children forever in order to attempt to preserve their right to parent. Since VSA 665 law is vague, interpretation is totally up to the judge, and since the judge usually communicates these demands in chambers and therefore off the record, almost all parents in this situation stipulate and sign away all legal rights to their children forever, without trial.
And if the loosing parent later decides they want to contest the decision, the Vermont Courts will simply point out that the loosing parent already stipulated to this decision. And since their was no trial AND no record of the judges threat, the loosing parent has no legal recourse whatsoever. They've lost all legal rights to their children, forever.