Uncontested Divorce in South Dakota

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Divorce is a heartbreaking topic for a plethora of individuals. It causes a lot of anxiety regarding the future of self and children, if any. The time before, during and after the process of ending the relationship is really tough and many individuals succumb to this pressure. But there are ways to reduce the stress and avoid unnecessary mess that can complicate the legal process. For this you have to make sure that your relationship with your partner is good enough to discuss things and make decisions together. You can thus file for an uncontested divorce that will liberate you from the rocky phase. Many states in many nations, including the United States, have provisions for this type of partition. South Dakota in USA have laid down rules and procedures regarding this process. Couples, with or without the help of lawyers, have to undergo these procedures to get an uncontested separation legally.

Key to a Successful Divorce in South Dakota

The rate of divorce in South Dakota is between 3.1-3.5 per 1000 people, as revealed by various studies over the past few years. If you want to spend a good life post the end of the relationship, you have to know the important aspects of your case. Taking some tips from separated friends or relatives, discussing the matter with an attorney without hiring him/ her and researching about the common aspects etc., can help you throughout the entire process. Go through the following information and educate yourself on the various areas of parting ways in South Dakota.

In South Dakota, the divorcing party filing the action and responding to the action are known as Plaintiff and Defendant respectively. The Circuit Court is the venue where the action is to be filed.

Grounds of Uncontested Divorce

The grounds for divorce are mentioned below:

General grounds

  • Habitual intemperance
  • Willful neglect
  • Inhuman and cruel treatment
  • Willful desertion
  • Conviction of a felony
  • Adultery

No-fault grounds

  • Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage due to irreconcilable differences between husband and wife

Residency requirements of Uncontested Divorce

On the date of filing the action, the Plaintiff must be a resident of South Dakota. This person must continue the residency in this state till the divorce becomes final. The county wherein either divorcing partner resides may be chosen for filing the action. The Defendant has the right to transfer the action in the county wherein he or she resides. So if the Defendant faces any difficulty in the Plaintiff's county, he/ she can enjoy this flexibility. The above mentioned rights are applicable to all the individuals, inclusive of military personnel, who have been stationed in this state.

Forms related to Uncontested Divorce in South Dakota

The Plaintiff is required to fill in the below mentioned forms:

  • A Complaint with children (UJS 312) and a Summons with children (UJS 311)
  • A Complaint without children (UJS 310) and a Summons without children (UJS 309)

Through the Summons, the Defendant learns that the Complaint must be answered within 30 days of its receipt. If the Defendant fails to answer, then, the default judgment against the Defendant may be executed. The following purposes are also fulfilled by the Summons:

  • Restricts the divorcing partners from disturbing or molesting one another
  • Prohibits the dissipation of marital assets
  • Orders the divorcing partners not to remove children from South Dakota

If the Complaint specifically mentions that the case is being taken due to irreconcilable differences, then the action is an uncontested one.

The Defendant has the right to sign the Notice and Admission of Service of Summons and Complaint, named UJS 315. After the Plaintiff receives this Notice, he/she has to file it with the court clerk. When the Defendant does not sign this Notice, the Plaintiff has to arrange to serve the Complaint and Summons through a Professional Process Server or a Sheriff.

This Server or Sheriff completes UJS 314, a notarized Affidavit of Personal Service. This is forwarded to the Plaintiff and it becomes a one of the important case papers. The Plaintiff may mail these papers other than the Complaint and the Summons to the Defendant. Further, the Plaintiff has to add UJS 313, a notarized Affidavit of Service by Mail, to the divorce documents.

Some other necessary forms are as follows:

  • UJS 232: A Civil Case Filing Statement
  • UJS 89: A Child Support Filing Data Form, if applicable
  • UJS 304: Data pertaining to the debts and properties of the divorcing parties

To conclude, it can be said that ending a relationship can change the whole life of an individual. So it is essential that separating couple understands the need of taking the right decision rather than thinking of materialistic benefits. You should obtain your uncontested divorce in South Dakota in such a way that it will make your life acceptable in all aspects.

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