Hiring an Experienced South Dakota Divorce Lawyer

The process of filing for divorce or legal separation in South Dakota is not always simple. Even when couples agree to part ways mutually and amicably, arguments can ensue over property division, alimony or child custody. Before getting started with the suit, it is important for all couples in the state to be fully aware of their rights as well as the laws that govern divorce filings in South Dakota.

Below are some answers to commonly answered questions about South Dakota divorce rules and regulations:

Does South Dakota Have a Residency Restriction in Place for Divorce?

YES. The spouse who is seeking the divorce must be a resident of South Dakota and remain a resident until a divorce decree is entered by the court. As far as actually filing the action, the petition for divorce can be brought in either the county where the plaintiff (spouse filing the suit) or the defendant (spouse being served) lives, if the spouses are currently living separately.

Is There a Waiting Period?

YES. Parties must wait at least 60 days from the time the divorce petition is served and the court hearing or the divorce decree.

What are the Legal Grounds for Divorce in South Dakota?

What are the Legal Grounds for Divorce in South Dakota?

The following are the acceptable grounds for divorce in the state:

  • Irreconcilable differences
  • Adultery
  • Extreme cruelty
  • Willful desertion
  • Willful neglect
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Felony Conviction

What are the Rules for Legal Separation in South Dakota?

In order to for separation to be granted in South Dakota, the parties must file the same grounds as for dissolution of marriage. If the decree is passed, the parties may separate and must stipulate, in writing, their agreements over child support, alimony and property division.

How is Property Divided Following a Divorce Decree in South Dakota?

South Dakota is an equitable distribution state, which means that marital assets will be distributed in an equitable fashion, not necessarily equally. Fault is not used as a factor when dividing property unless it is relevant to the acquisition of said asset.

If these rules have you confused, you are not alone.  It can be easy to overlook details in a divorce or legal separation petition in the state, and if just one small detail is missing or incorrectly entered, the spouse may lose out on their rightful property, spousal support or even child custody rights.

Anyone who has considered filing for divorce or legal separation in the state has a right to seek legal help with a South Dakota divorce lawyer to ensure their case runs as smoothly and favorably as possible. When working with an experienced attorney, you can be sure that you won’t have to worry about any paperwork or obscure fine print and regulations because your legal representative will handle all of that for you. Your lawyer will also serve as a mediator between you and your spouse to help you come to a fair agreement over settlement matters and protect you from fraud.

Are you thinking about filing action for separation or dissolution in the state? If so, turn to one of our featured divorce attorneys in South Dakota today to get started on your case.