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South Dakota Divorce Information

The South Dakota Divorce Section will provide a resource directory of focused professionals.  Lawyers, mediators, negotiators, counsellors, accountants, financial planners and other professionals providing all the information you will need to assess your position and take the necessary steps to successfully navigate your divorce.  Child custody, child support, visitation arrangements, alimony, division of assets and debts, while similar, are different in each state.

South Dakota Divorce Laws

South Dakota divorce laws for people considering a South Dakota divorce or filing a South Dakota divorce with issues to be resolved about child custody, child support, visitation and alimony.  South Dakota statutes can be viewed at   http://legis.state.sd.us/.   Statutes cover but are not limited to the following subjects:

•Divorce Definitions

•Divorce Residency Requirements

•Grounds for Divorce

•Uncontested Divorce

•Simplified Divorce Process

•Military Divorce Laws

•Child Custody

•Child Support Considerations

•Child Support Definitions

•Child Support Guidelines

•Spousal Support, Maintenance, and Alimony guidelines

•Property Division Considerations

•Grandparents’ Rights


South Dakota Divorce Definitions

These definitions will help you understand some unique characteristics to the South Dakota Divorce laws, process and paperwork which is filed with the court.

Filing Party Title: Plaintiff -The spouse who will initiate the Divorce by filing the required paperwork with the court.

Non-Filing Party Title: Defendant -The spouse who does not initiate the Divorce with the court.

Court Name: State of South Dakota, County of _____, In the Circuit Court, _____ Judicial District -The proper name of the court in which a Divorce is filed in the state of South Dakota. Each jurisdictional court typically has a domestic relations or a family law department or division.

Child Support Enforcement Website:
http://www.state.sd.us/social/CSE/index.htm -The state run office devoted to enforcing existing child support orders and collecting any past due child support.

Document Introduction: In Re the Marriage of: -The lead-in verbiage used in the legal caption or header of the documents filed with the court. The introduction typically prefaces both spouse’s names.

Initial Divorce Document: Complaint for Divorce -The title and name of the legal document that will initiate the South Dakota Divorce process. The filing spouse is also required to provide the non-filing spouse a copy of this document.

Final Divorce Document: Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Decree of Divorce -The title and name of the legal document that will finalize the South Dakota Divorce process. This document will be signed by the judge, master, or referee of the court to declare your marriage officially terminated.

Clerk’s Office Name: Office of the Clerk of the County Circuit Court -The office of the clerk that will facilitate the Divorce process. This is the title you would address letters to or ask for when contacting the courthouse.

Legal Separation: The grounds for legal separation (separate maintenance) in South Dakota are the same as for divorce. The spouse filing for legal separation must be a resident of South Dakota or a member of the Armed Forces stationed in South Dakota at the time of the filing and must remain a resident until the legal separation is final. [South Dakota Codified Laws; Title 25, Chapters 25-4-17.2 and 25-4-40].

Property Distribution: Equitable Distribution -The applicable South Dakota law that will dictate how property and debt is to be divided upon Divorce.

South Dakota Divorce Resources -


South Dakota Specific Divorce Overview


South Dakota Specific Divorce Articles -


South Dakota Specific Divorce Documents -


South Dakota Specific Divorce Professionals -




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