South Dakota Divorce Laws

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South Dakota divorce laws provide the important legalities of a divorce process. The nature of a divorce case depends on the provisions mentioned in the state laws. Even if the state divorce laws are based on federal laws, there are some minor differences as per the needs of that State Government. Usually, the residency requirements for each state are different according to their individual conditions. In order to be a resident of the state one should have stayed in the state for at least six months. This condition remains same for all kinds of divorces in the state.

South Dakota Divorce Laws regarding Child Support

The Income Shares Model is the basis of child support. As per this model, the combined monthly net incomes of both parents are calculated and this value is utilized to determine the amount of child support. This amount of child support is divided amongst the parents in the proportion of their respective incomes. The share of the non-custodial parent decides the level of child support and this is based on the number of children due to the marriage. These laws are included in Chapter 25-7-6.2 Title 5 of the Domestic Relations Laws of this state. While deciding the amount for child support, the educational and other needs of the child are taken into account. Also, the medical and developmental expenses are to be included in the total amount to be paid by the spouses.

South Dakota Divorce Laws pertaining Child Custody

The Court attempts to seek the best interests, moral welfare, mental welfare and temporal welfare of the child by issuing orders of apt child custody. If the Court thinks that the child is sufficiently grown up to form a preference regarding custody, then the Court considers their preference while determining custody. The gender of the parent is not considered while finalizing custody. Any fault in marital life is not regarded relevant, except when it is related to the moral conduct of a parent like in the case of a conviction or assault or domestic abuse etc. The Chapters 25-4-45.6, 25-4-45.5, 25-4-45.1 and 25-4-45 of Title 25 are the Domestic Relations Laws of South Dakota related to child custody. Child custody can be offered to both parents, which is known as joint custody.

Change in name

In the divorce suit, the name of the woman prior to the marriage or her maiden name may be restored by the Trial Court as per the terms of the decree or in the Court's discretion. Such an alteration in name is based on Title 25 Chapter 25-4-47 of the Domestic Relations Laws.

Spousal Support

The issue of spousal support can be solved after referring to Chapter 25-4-41 of Title 25 of the Domestic Relations Laws. The Court determines which partner must pay spousal support to the other partner and for what period of time. The amount of spousal support is based on the requirements and needs of both partners. Also, the capability and responsibility of the spouse providing support, is taken into consideration. The order of spousal support can be altered in case the beneficiary remarries or starts having relationship with another person. The contribution of the partner for home-making is considered while finalizing the amount of spousal support.

Property Distribution

Property distribution can be finalized by the spouses by submitting a mutual agreement in the court. Any failure in making such agreement would result in court interference in the matter. This state believes in equitable distribution of property. Irrespective of the fact that who holds the title to a particular marital asset, the asset is separated in equitable manner. Any fault committed by a partner in the marital life is considered only if it is relevant to the attainment of the property. The Chapters 25-4-45.1 and 25-4-44 of Title 25 of Domestic Relations Laws are dedicated to the issue of property distribution.

Premarital Agreement

The premarital agreement must be in written form bearing the signatures of both the partners. This agreement might comprise of provisions defining the property rights of the partners during married life and in case of demise of one or both partners. If a divorce or separation occurs, then the disposition of marital property may be described in this agreement. However, this agreement should not adversely impact the rights of child support. The basis of premarital agreement laws appears in Chapters 25-2-18 and 25-2-17 of Title 25 of the Domestic Relations Laws.

It is necessary to note that South Dakota divorce laws are quite complicated and difficult to comprehend. So, while handling a complex divorce case, professional help can prove useful for the spouses.

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