South Dakota Divorce Laws, Attorneys & Family Lawyers SD


Divorce rate in South Dakota is not very high; it is 3.1% per 1,000 of the total population which is below the average divorce rate in most of the other states. A person requesting for divorce in South Dakota State has both choices to file on the basis of either no-fault or fault divorce. Most of divorces in this state are no-fault based. If it is fault based, then the plaintiff must prove the grounds for that.

Annulment is to declare a marital relationship void. It is usually declared within a short span of marriage. The court does not grant any award distribution. Due to these reasons, it is not liked by people; furthermore its grounds are also hard to prove.

Here we will give you the access to reach a qualified and professional divorce lawyer who is available to guide you through all difficult stages of divorce or annulment.

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Divorce Grounds in South Dakota

Divorce rate in South Dakota is low as compared to other states of the US. The major divorce grounds in South Dakota are categorized into:

No-Fault Divorce Grounds in South Dakota

There is only one no-fault divorce ground in South Dakota, which is:

Irreconcilable Differences

Irreconcilable differences is the main ground for divorces in South Dakota. Both the spouses can file for divorce under this divorce ground in South Dakota, if they have differences which can not be bridged.

Fault Divorce Grounds in South Dakota

Following are the fault divorce grounds in South Dakota:


Adultery is one of the major fault divorce grounds in South Dakota. If you do not want to live with your spouse because he or she has been having sexual relationship with a paramour, you can divorce him or her under this divorce ground in South Dakota.

Extreme Cruelty

Physical or verbal abuse by a spouse is a ground for divorce in South Dakota. The victim can file a petition for divorce against the accountable.

Willful Desert

Wilful desertion by one partner validates other’s claim for divorce int South Dakota.

Conviction of Felony

Conviction of felony is a legal and common fault divorce ground in South Dakota. Involvement of any of the spouses in crimes like murder or robbery badly affects the marriage life and the sufferer can ask for divorce.

Willful Neglect

A marriage is based on love and companionship. But if your relationship lacks that and there is willful neglect on the part of your spouse, you can petition for divorce on willful neglect divorce ground in South Dakota.

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Habitual Intemperance

Habitual intemperance can affect a marriage life adversely. If your marriage is suffering because of this habit of your spouse and you do not want to bear up with it any more, you are legally entitled to divorce under this divorce ground in South Dakota.

Contact a professional divorce attorney or divorce lawyer for detailed information regarding divorce grounds in South Dakota.

South Dakota Divorce Laws

South Dakota has following divorce laws:


According to the South Dakota divorce laws the spouse filing for the divorce should be a resident of the state at the time the petition is filed.  The spouse may be a member of armed forces. The divorce may be filed in the county in which either spouse resides. The defendant has a legal right to move the case to his or her county. There is also a 60 day waiting period that must elapse after the date of filing, before the divorce will be granted.

Documents Required for Filing Divorce

Under the South Dakota divorce laws, the two main documents required are:

  • Complaint for Divorce
  • Decree of Divorce

Other than these, other documents include:

  • Verification
  • Marital Settlement Agreement
  • Affidavit of Proof for Stipulated Judgment
  • Financial Affidavit
  • Notice of Final Hearing

Distribution of Property

The distribution of the property is based on the equitable basis considering whether the title to such property is in the name of the husband or the wife.

Change of Name or Restoration of Name

According to South Dakota divorce laws, wife’s name can be restored to her maiden name or her name before marriage after the divorce is filed.

Mediation Counseling

South Dakota divorce court provides both the parties with time period of 30 days to decide whether they want legal separation or dissolution of marriage.


According to South Dakota divorce laws, the divorce court can provide spousal support on permanent or temporary bases from case to case bases.

Child Custody

The South Dakota divorce court resolves the custody issue on the basis of keeping the child’s best interest in mind. The child custody may be sole or joint based on the standards of what is complimentary for the child.

Child Support

Child support under South Dakota divorce laws is calculated according to the Income Shares Model.

Contact a professional divorce attorney or divorce lawyer for comprehensive divorce laws information in your state.

South Dakota Annulment Laws

Divorce is to dissolve a legal marriage whereas annulment is the ending-up of an already illegal marriage. According to a research, annulments are rare in South Dakota. People prefer divorce since it is a relatively hassle-free process. Both the spouses can remarry after getting annulment. To get annulment in South Dakota, you can base your case on any of the following grounds for annulment constituted by the South Dakota annulment laws:

Bigamy and Polygamy

Both bigamy and polygamy are valid annulment grounds in South Dakota. Marriage laws of South Dakota require you to be single at the time of marriage. Your claim for annulment will be valid under South Dakota annulment laws, if your spouse has more than one spouse.


Marital contracts between blood relations, like father-daughter, mother-son, grandmother-grandson, uncle-niece etc, come under consanguinity. According to South Dakota annulment laws, marriages which take place among blood relatives are not valid and thus can be annulled.

Fraudulent Contract

If your spouse has tricked you into a marriage or misrepresented him or herself to obtain your consent, you can file for annulment under South Dakota annulment laws.

Mental Illness

According to South Dakota annulment laws, mental illness in a spouse is a valid annulment ground. You can obtain annulment in South Dakota if your spouse is suffering from a mental illness, partial or complete.

South Dakota Divorce Laws-Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How much will I have to wait to get divorced in South Dakota?

    For South Dakota divorce, you have to wait at least 60 days after filing the petition in the court. Some complicated cases in which issues are not resolved between the spouses may take even longer.

  2. What is equitable distribution?

    According to South Dakota divorce laws, equitable distribution means, distribution of property equally or in exact proportion between the spouses at the time.

  3. How does South Dakota divorce court decide child custody issue?

    South Dakota divorce laws state that the court must give preference to the interest of the child, which means that if the child can exercise his or her choice. However the child should be mature enough for this. Otherwise the divorce court awards the custody either solely or jointly to the parents.

  4. What is the difference between sole and joint custody?

    In sole custody, the child remains under the custody of one spouse and the other one is given the visitation rights. In case of joint custody, the child resides at one place and both the parents are responsible for making decisions for their child.

  5. What are the laws for child support in South Dakota?

    South Dakota divorce laws are in favor of granting child support to either one or both the spouses. In some states, the child support amount is fixed, while in South Dakota there is no fixed rate for child support. The court considers the financial resources of both the spouses before declaring the child support amount.

  6. Am I eligible for spousal support?

    Alimony or spousal support is the amount of money which is to be paid by one spouse to another on the decree of the court to financially help the spouse. The amount of alimony depends on the gross monthly income of the spouses.

  7. What is mediation?

    Mediation is the negotiation between the parties to resolve the issues in the presence of a mediator. While the arbitrator is one who has the right to order the settlement.

  8. Can I represent myself in the divorce court?

    Obviously you can, because the court gives you the right to represent yourself in the court. If you are not familiar with the court procedures then it is advised to appoint a divorce lawyer.

  9. Me and my wife want to appoint the same divorce lawyer, can we?

    According to South Dakota divorce laws, no divorce lawyer is allowed to represent both the spouses in the court at the same time.

  10. Is South Dakota a no-fault state?

    Yes, South Dakota is a no-fault state.

Divorce Lawyers Near Me

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