South Dakota Divorce & Separation
UPDATED: March 4, 2020
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Obtaining a separation or divorce is a common process in every state, but you may not know that each state has its own unique laws and rules that govern the process. What are the requirements for getting a divorce in South Dakota? Is mediation a requirement before you can get a South Dakota divorce? What is South Dakota law on annulments? Find the answers to your South Dakota divorce questions here.
South Dakota Legal Separation:
Legal separations are allowed in South Dakota. A petition for separation is required, and the husband and wife may agree in writing to provisions for child & spousal support and property division, which the court may honor provided that the grounds (which otherwise must be met for a full divorce) are also met here.
Grounds for Divorce/Fault – No Fault:
South Dakota has both fault and no-fault grounds for divorce. For no-fault divorces, “irreconcilable differences” is the standard used to show grounds. Fault-based divorces require considerably more specific reasons, including: adultery, extreme cruelty, willful desertion, willful neglect, felony conviction, and abuse of controlled substances or alcohol.
Residency/Where to File for Divorce:
The petitioner/plaintiff must be a resident of South Dakota at the time of filing and at least until the divorce is granted. The action should be filed in the county where either the plaintiff or defendant lives, and there is a 60-day waiting period from the time the divorce is served and the court hearing date for the divorce.
South Dakota Divorce/Child Support/Child Custody Lawyers:
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Divorce Mediation in South Dakota:
For marriages with children, where custody or visitation or support issues are contested, the court may order mediation to help the parties create a workable plan that is in the children’s best interests. An investigation instead of or in addition to the mediation order may be required as well, with the cost of either being allocated amongst the parties. The mediation route (also called “alternative dispute resolution”) is particularly appropriate where there are issues that could be resolved and agreed upon amicably through a conference rather than forcing the parties, the children, and the court system through unnecessary litigation.
South Dakota Annulment:
An annulment is a court declaration that your marriage is legally invalid. In other words, rather than ending a marriage via divorce, an annulment is a declaration that the marriage was never valid to begin with, for reasons including: consent obtained by fraud, duress, underage, a party’s lacking mental capacity, and incest.
South Dakota Online Divorce Services:
South Dakota Divorce Laws: Click below to find the South Dakota Divorce laws you’re looking for: