South Dakota Divorce Guidelines to File for a Divorce
Divorce Requirements for South Dakota Residents
Unlike in most States, there is no legal minimum residency requirement in South Dakota when filing a divorce complaint. To file for divorce in South Dakota, either of the spouses must be a legal resident of the Mount Rushmore State. There is a 60-day turnaround time after the filing of the petition before a divorce is granted and finalized.
South Dakota Grounds For Divorce
South Dakota family courts recognize both fault and no-fault divorce grounds.
Irreconcilable differences is South Dakota’s no-fault ground for divorce which is usually cited as the cause of the marital union’s irretrievable demise.
The fault-based grounds include adultery, felony conviction resulting in imprisonment, willful desertion and neglect, extreme cruelty, and habitual drunkenness or drug addiction.
Child Custody Law in South Dakota
Child custody is one of the toughest hurdles that families have to undergo in a divorce proceeding. Minor children are the most vulnerable, that is why it is the priority of South Dakota family courts to ensure that the best interests of the children involved in ugly divorce battles is prioritized.
South Dakota divorce courts recognize joint custody in the child’s best interest, considering the following factors in custody decisions:
- Marital misconduct only if it is relevant to the further well-being of the child;
- Child wishes depending on age and maturity; and
- Expressed desires of the parents.
Depending on the circumstances and pieces of evidence presented in court, the Judge may grant either sole or joint custody to the child’s parents.
Guidelines for South Dakota Child Support
An official set of guidelines are in place to decide on child support battles in South Dakota. Calculation of child support will be based on the Income Shares Model which looks into the gross income and earning capacity of the parents, less allowable expenses. Child support ensures that the needs of the child is covered until the child reaches 18 years of age or until he or she finishes high school.
Where to file for a divorce?
South Dakota divorce forms may be filed in the county where either of the spouses resides but the Defendant also has a right to request for the divorce action to be heard in his or her county of residence.
For a fast and inexpensive divorce process, you can file South Dakota online divorce forms.
Refer to the “Divorce Requirements for South Dakota Residents” above and also review the top online divorce papers sites.
Parties may request for mediation before or after filing the South Dakota divorce papers. Divorce mediation in South Dakota is a cooperative, non-adversarial, problem-solving process wherein both parties can assess their conjugal assets, discuss income appropriation such as alimony and child support, and establish their parental rights and responsibilities. It is designed to eliminate hostility and acrimony associated with divorce, while reducing costs and saving time, and enabling the former spouses to tread their path to the future.
Need information for a different state?
You may also visit the South Dakota Courts for more information