South Dakota Divorce Law

Complete Overview of of the South Dakota Divorce Laws

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Important South Dakota Divorce Guidelines to File for a Divorce

South Dakota Residency Requirements For Divorce

Residency requirements stipulate that, when filing South Dakota divorce forms one spouse must be a resident of South Dakota until the divorce is made final. There is no legal minimum residence requirement in South Dakota.

Grounds For Divorce In South Dakota

Common grounds for a no-fault divorce in South Dakota are:

  • irreconcilable differences which have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.

Common grounds for a fault based divorce in South Dakota are:

  • adultery;
  • conviction of a felony;
  • willful desertion;
  • cruel and inhuman treatment.
South Dakota Child Custody

When it comes to the decisions on child custody in South Dakota the courts will lean towards a ruling of joint custody. However if the courts believe it is in the best interest of the child they will grant one party the ultimate power to rule on decisions concerning the child’s well being. The court however will ultimately make a ruling with the best interests of the child in mind and will approve an agreement made between the parents as long as it is deemed, again, with the best interests of the child in mind.

South Dakota Child Support Guidelines

To calculate potential child support South Dakota has guidelines in place that are used in almost every case. The calculation of child support takes into consideration the gross income of both parties as well as any child related expenses. It is commonly understood that child support will continue until the child reaches the age of 18 but can be extended through their secondary education.


A South Dakota divorce will usually proceed within the county in which either party may reside.


At any point in the divorce process the courts may order the parties to submit their contested issues through mediation. Before filing South Dakota divorce forms the couple has an option to put their issues through mediation. If they can come to an agreement on any contested issues they will be able to proceed in court on an uncontested basis.