The following information is to provide a basic understanding of the various aspects of South Dakota divorce.
for more specific information regarding South Dakota divorce laws.
Every effort has been made to assure that the information contained in these pages is accurate however, due to the ever changing nature of the law some material may be outdated or may no longer apply.
|Residency Requirements ||The plaintiff in an action for divorce or separate maintenance must, at the time the action is commenced, be a resident of this state, or be stationed in this state while a member of the armed services, and in order that each party be entitled to the entry of a decree or judgment of divorce or separate maintenance, that residence or military presence must be maintained until the decree is entered.
|Where to File ||An action for divorce or separate maintenance may be commenced in the county of residence of either party, subject to the right of the defendant to have the place of trial changed to the county where the defendant resides.
|Grounds for Divorce ||Divorces may be granted for any of the following causes:
- Extreme cruelty
- Willful desertion
- Willful neglect
- Habitual intemperance
- Conviction of felony
- Irreconcilable differences
|Voluntary or required mediation ||No|
|Voluntary or recommended Counseling||Yes|
|Property Distribution ||When a divorce is granted, the courts may make an equitable division of the property belonging to either or both, whether the title to such property is in the name of the husband or the wife. In making such division of the property, the court shall have regard for equity and the circumstances of the parties.
|Child Custody ||In an action for divorce, the court may, before or after judgment, give such direction for the custody, care, and education of the children of the marriage as may seem necessary or proper, and may at any time vacate or modify the same. In awarding the custody of a child, the court shall be guided by consideration of what appears to be for the best interests of the child in respect to the child's temporal and mental and moral welfare. If the child is of a sufficient age to form an intelligent preference, the court may consider that preference in determining the question. As between parents adversely claiming the custody, neither parent may be given preference over the other in determining custody.
|Child Support ||
The parents of a child are jointly and severally obligated for the necessary maintenance, education, and support of the child in accordance with their respective means. Until established by a court order, the minimum child support obligation of a parent who fails to furnish maintenance, education, and support for his child, following a continued absence from the home, is the obligor's share of the amount shown in the support guidelines, commencing on the first day of the absence. For the purposes of this section, "continued absence from the home," means that the parent or child is physically absent from the home for a period of at least thirty consecutive days, and that the nature of the absence constitutes family dissociation because of a substantial severance of marital and family ties and responsibilities, resulting in the child losing or having a substantial reduction of physical care, communication, guidance, and support from the parent.
|Spousal Support ||Where a divorce is granted, the court may compel one party to make such suitable allowance to the other party for support during the life of that other party or for a shorter period, as the court may deem just, having regard to the circumstances of the parties represented; and the court may from time to time modify its orders in these respects.|