South Dakota Family Law

South Dakota laws are created and revised by the actions of lawmakers and the courts, as in other states. Click on the links below to learn more information.

1.State statute South Dakota Title 25 Chapter 25-4 - Divorce and Separate Maintenance
2. Fault or no-fault (typically when a state allows fault based and no-fault divorce, fault based divorces require no separation period. Fault based and no-fault
3. Equitable distribution or community property Equitable Distribution
a. Methods of apportionment The courts make an equitable distribution of property, regardless of title, giving regard to the circumstances of the parties (25-4-44]
i. Periera and Van Camp in CA Not applicable
b. Property distribution factors Broad discretion of the court [25-4-44]
4. Legal separation? Yes, can be temporary or permanent [25-4-40]
a. Waiting period/Separation period 1 year of continuous desertion, neglect or intemperance [25-4-17]
5. Is mediation required No, but may be ordered by court when children are involved [25-4-56]
6. Forms used South Dakota Family Law Forms (w/out children)
7. Alimony guidelines and factors General Guidelines [25-4-41]
Alimony formula Guidelines for determation [25-4-41]
a. Types Temporary or permanent at the discretion of the court [25-4-41]
b. Term Limits At the discretion of the court [25-4-41]
Cohabitation In general, "cohabitation, in and of itself, is not a circumstance upon which alimony may be modified or terminated." Horr, 445 N.W.2d at 28 (citing Myhre v. Myhre, 296 N.W.2d 905 (S.D. 1980)).
c. Imputing income General ability of court to assign support [25-4-41]
d. Change in circumstances The court may modify based on the circumstances of the party [25-4-41]
e. Ceases on retirement At the discretion of the court [25-4-41]
Impute income on early retirement
Early retirement for health reasons is involuntary
f. Definition of income For Child Support purposes [25-7-6.3]
8. Child support factors and guidelines General guidelines and related information [25-7]
9. Child support calculator South Dakota Dept. of Social Services
10. Lump Sum  Support allowed? Yes. Blare v. Blare, 302 NW 2d 787 - SD: Supreme Court 1981.
11. Valuation
a. Valuation date Divorce
b. Goodwill divisibility Practice goodwill is deductible but would not rule on personal goodwill -  Endres v. Endres, 532 N.W.2d 65 (S.D. 1995)
c. Standard of value Fair Market Value - South Dakota Fausch v. Fausch, 697 N.W.2d 748 (S.D. 2005)
d. Discounts No bright line for discount for lack of marketability when sale is not contemplated. Appropriateness should be based on facts and circumstances. Priebe v. Priebe, 1996 SD 136, 556 N.W.2d 78 (S.D. 1996)
e. Shareholder/partner agreements Agreements bear special consideration in valuation. Priebe v. Priebe, 556 NW 2d 78 - SD: Supreme Court 1996 relying on: Morgan v. Morgan, 795 P. 2d 684 - Utah: Court of Appeals 1990. Morgan v. Morgan, 854 P. 2d 559 - Utah: Court of Appeals 1993
 12. Double dip  Impermissable double dip, not issue because personal goodwill not divisible
 a. Stock options  
 b. Retirement accounts  Not allowed: Stemper v. Stemper, 403 N.W.2d 405 (S.D.)
 c. Child support Not allowed.  All of the monies available for the support of both parents must be considered (e.g. an ED provides for cash-producing assets to other spouse). SDCL 25-7-6.3,6
 13. Key cases  
 14. Premarital agreements  "Enforced, with exceptions of: (1) not executed voluntarily or (2) unconscionable when executed with financial disclosure issues [25-2-21].  Parties may contract regarding support for either during separation SD ST § 25-2-13"
 15. Common law  No


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