South Dakota Divorce Forms & Papers

Divorce Papers > South Dakota Divorce Forms & Papers

The ultimate dissolution of a marriage bond is known as divorce. A marriage is a union formed by love, sense of responsibility and commitment. However, when the spouses face daily clashes over important matters in their life, it becomes difficult to handle this union for both of them. The extreme differences or marital faults result in the termination of marriage. This is followed by a legal procedure. This type of process is initiated by applying in the court for obtaining a final decree of separation. South Dakota divorce forms and papers are necessary documents that are utilized to start and continue the divorce case in the state court.

Grounds for Filing South Dakota Divorce Forms and Papers

The only no-fault ground for divorce in South Dakota is: Irreconcilable differences. [South Dakota Codified Laws, Title 25, Chapters 25-4-2, 254-17.2, 25-4-18]. If both spouses consent to the use of "irreconcilable differences" as grounds for divorce, the court may grant the divorce based entirely on affidavits of the spouses which establish the required residency and grounds for divorce. In such cases, a personal appearance in court by either of the spouses is not generally required. [South Dakota Codified Laws; Title 25, Chapters 25-4-17.3]

Contrary to this, a lot of documentation and appearances are required for the contested cases that are carried out under fault grounds. The reasons for a fault divorce could range from infidelity, separation, criminal background, drug addiction, etc. The spouses are asked to file property details, personal and medical documents, and appeals in this case.

The Residency Requirements according to South Dakota Divorce Forms and Papers

The spouse who files for divorce must be a resident of South Dakota or a member of the Armed Forces stationed in South Dakota at the time of the filing. They must remain a resident until the divorce is final. There is no specific time requirement for being a resident in the state. The divorce may be filed in the county where either spouse resides, but the defendant has the right to have it transferred to his or her county of residence if desired. In addition, there is a 60-day waiting period after filing before a hearing is held or a divorce is granted. [South Dakota Codified Laws, Title 25, Chapters 25-4-30, 25-4-30.1, 25-4-34]. For more information on filing divorce see our page on how to file for divorce.

Filing Divorce Forms and Papers

In the process of litigation, only one spouse files for the dissolution. The other partner may not be aware of this incidence. Thus, the court requires the service of notice to this person before the case starts. It is served in order to inform the partner about the petition and other details. This can be done in following ways:

  • Personal service - The local authority or Sheriff personally delivers the notice to a spouse.
  • First-class mail - It is sent by first class mail and an acknowledgement for the same is collected.
  • Certified mail - It is delivered with a simple mail service, which the spouse has to respond by signing the acknowledgement.
  • Publications - If all the above options fail to convey the petition to the spouse, then a notice is published in a local or state newspaper for a specific period of time.

It is to be noted that the respondent must approach the court after receiving the divorce papers. Otherwise, the case will be treated as an uncontested divorce, in which the court accepts all the demands of an applicant.

Procedure for Filing South Dakota Divorce Forms and Papers

The divorce applications can be procured from the court clerk. The spouses have to approach for legal help to fill all the details correctly. An attorney can advise them on the issues like spousal support and appeals for custody. If the couple is looking for a do-it-yourself divorce, then they can download and print the forms from authorized websites. This is a faster and easier way to submit the papers. While filling these documents, following point is to be noted:


  1. Use these exact words, all in capital letters: STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA, COUNTY OF IN THE CIRCUIT COURT, JUDICIAL DISTRICT
  2. Use these exact words, all in capital letters: COMPLAINT FOR DIVORCE
  3. Use the word "Plaintiff". Be sure the "P" is capitalized.
  4. Use the word "Defendant". Be sure the "D" is capitalized.
  5. Use these exact words: DECREE OF DIVORCE. Be sure to use capital letters only when placed as the title of your final document.
  6. Use the word "County" here.

For detailed divorce laws in South Dakota state, please see South Dakota Divorce Laws page.

Free South Dakota Divorce Forms for Download

Following divorce forms are free for download. Most of the forms are provided with instructions on how to fill the form. To download any of these divorce papers and forms just right click on the link and select "Save As...". South Dakota Divorce Instructions South Dakota Divorce Forms that Both Parties Must sign Forms & Documents South Dakota Divorce Court Forms South Dakota Divorce Forms to be Signed by a Friend Your Divorce Forms Divorce Form for Your Spouse

If you don't want to file for divorce papers directly then find Divorce Lawyers in South Dakota here.

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