Divorce papers in South Dakota — filing for divorce in SD

Online divorce in South Dakota

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How to get divorce in South Dakota

Online Divorce provides qualitative and approved by the court South Dakota divorce papers. The information below will help you understand more about the divorce in South Dakota. However, if you feel any doubt or insecurities, we will help you figure out how get your divorce form documents quickly and correctly filled out according to the rules set by the state without hiring an Attorney. onlinedivorce.com provides quick and inexpensive services of online divorce in South Dakota. We guarantee that in a short time you will receive the correct South Dakota divorce documents with specific circumstances of your divorce, as well as a detailed instruction on what to do next.

Below you can find common steps of how to get divorce in South Dakota:


Divorce is a legal process and in order to obtain divorce, the marriage must be recognized by South Dakota law, in other words, to be legal.


Spouses must comply with the conditions of the state of residence, and it is not necessary that both spouses are residents of South Dakota. Only the Plaintiff (the spouse who is suing) must live in the state. However, if a couple has underage children and they are residents of another state, then the Plaintiff does not have the right to claim custody, based on the legislation of South Dakota. Similarly, if the Respondent (a spouse who does not file a claim) owns property in another state, then it can not be divided during divorce based on the legislation of South Dakota.


Spouses should have grounds for divorce. South Dakota gives the right to receive both fault and no-fault divorce, but in the case of a fault divorce, the Plaintiff will have to prove the fault of his or her spouse in court.


Quite often divorce turns into a drama that lasts for years, devastating the bank accounts of the spouses. Therefore, South Dakota take care of its residents and offers couples to issue an uncontested divorce. This is a simpler, faster and cheaper way to dissolve the marriage. The bottom line is that the spouses discussed all the divisive issues of divorce and came to a decision that they signed documented. If the spouses can make compromises, the divorce will be granted 60 days after the petition is submitted to the court. Together with the petition, you also need to file a written agreement, which the couple has about the key moments of the divorce. If the spouses can not agree and the only decision remains the court hearings, where the judge will decide on the disputes, then the divorce will be called the contested divorce in South Dakota and may be delayed for a long period.


Regardless of the type of divorce, all couples passing through the dissolution of marriage need to fill out the divorce form documents. South Dakota has many different forms that cover different circumstances of divorce. However, keep in mind that not all existing South Dakota divorce papers need to be filled out, but only those that fit your situation. Take full responsibility for the divorce forms that you bring to court, if you submit the wrong papers, they will be rejected by the court. Thus, many couples were convinced that onlinedivorce.com is a reliable way to prepare all the necessary forms online. We will select you those South Dakota divorce papers that match your case, and also help fill them out in accordance with the requirements of the courts. You do not have to spend money on lawyers. Online Divorce in South Dakota is a simple and convenient way to end a broken marriage.


Completed divorce form documents need to be brought to court. After that, you are obliged to notify your spouse about the beginning of the divorce proceedings, in simple terms, to transfer to him or her copies of your papers, this is also called the serving of the spouse.


After you served the spouse, the court will set a waiting period of 60 days. If your divorce is uncontested, then the divorce will be granted in 60 days after the application is filed with the court, provided that all the papers are filed correctly. If the divorce is contested, after 60 days the court will set the date of the first hearing regarding your case.


If you want to get a divorce in South Dakota, you must be a bona fide resident of the state and reside in South Dakota at the time of applying to the court and throughout the entire trial until a divorce is finally granted.

If your spouse is not a resident of South Dakota, you can still file a divorce petition in South Dakota, but keep in mind that if your minor children live with your spouse (children are not residents of South Dakota), you will not be able to claim custodial rights.

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Valid grounds to get divorce in South Dakota

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Any divorce passes through the court. In order for the judge to dissolve the marriage, he must understand the reason that led to the fact that the spouses want to end the marriage relationship. The grounds for divorce in South Dakota may be as follows:


  • Irreconcilable differences between the spouses. However, in such a case the judge believes that there is an opportunity for reconciliation and suspends the process of divorce for 30 days so that the couple can settle the differences and come to terms.


  • If the spouse has committed sexual intercourse with a person of the opposite sex, who is not his or her legal spouse;
  • If the spouse voluntarily left the family with the intention to leave the country;
  • If the spouse has drugs or alcohol dependence;
  • If the spouse committed a crime and was convicted for this;
  • If the spouse has committed acts of violence or cruel behavior towards members of his or her family;
  • If the spouse deliberately degrades his or her partner;

Please note that if your South Dakota divorce papers indicate the fault reason for the divorce, then you will have to provide irrefutable evidence of the wrongful actions of your spouse.

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Custody of the child in South Dakota

Custody of the child

The distribution of custody of minor children is one of the most important issues that parents should pass in a divorce in South Dakota. The court always stands on the side of the child and is guided by his or her best interests. If the parents are in complicated relationships, the court may appoint a third person who will be responsible for raising the child to help the parents resolve all the differences. Similarly, the court can take into account the wishes of the child regarding his or her main residence, if the court is satisfied that the child can reasonably and logically think.

If the parent is guilty of acts of violence or cruel treatment towards members of his or her family, the court may not allow him or her the right to be a custodian and curtail the hours of child attendance. Also if the parent is guilty of the death of his or her spouse, the court will appoint a third person as the main custodian.

If both spouses do not suffer from dementia and do not have physical inferiority, then the court assumes that both parents are able to work so that they earn at least a minimum wage to support their minor children after the divorce. The amount of financial support for children is calculated on the basis of the monthly income of parents, as well as the number of children in the family.

Uncontested South Dakota divorce with children
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Rules for spousal support in South Dakota

Rules for spousal support

With a divorce in South Dakota, any spouse may require financial support (alimony) from his or her partner. Everything depends on the financial situation of the spouses.

If the court is convinced that the requesting spouse is in fact in such a position that he or she is unable to provide for himself / herself, then he or she will be award the amount of monthly financial support that can last for the period of time established by the court or be permanent (until the end of  life of one of the spouses or until the spouse-recipient remarries).

The size and duration of alimony will depend on the complexity of the financial situation of the requesting spouse.

Property division in South Dakota

Property division

If the spouses have a common property, then they must divide it in a divorce. This is a necessary step, through which all the couples who have something go. South Dakota adheres to the rule that all property should be distributed fairly and equitable. The common property means any movable or immovable property that has passed into the possession of the spouses when they were already in the marriage.

However, note that if the spouses become the owner of the property that has been transferred to them by giving or inheriting, then this property is considered separate and will belong to that of the spouses who was its owner at the moment when it passed into his or her ownership. Also, to the separate property belongs property that was acquired before marriage. However, if during the marriage one of the spouses contributed to increase the value of the property that was acquired by his or her spouse before marriage, this property will also be considered common and must be divided.

The property is divided into all movable and immovable property owned by a couple, including assets and debt obligations. Note that if the spouses own any property that is outside of South Dakota, then it can not be divided in the divorce process in accordance with South Dakota law.

Divorce without a lawyer in South Dakota

If you apply for a divorce in South Dakota, then there is no need to use the services of a lawyer. Cases when a divorce is made without the participation of a lawyer are called Pro Se Divorce, it is a Latin expression that translates as "on her or his own". Depending on which county you live, the process of divorce in the state of South Dakota can vary. Nevertheless, a divorce without the participation of a lawyer is completely legal and is subject to execution in any state. If the spouses have come to the agreement of a division of property and custody of children, then it is very convenient to initiate the Pro Se Divorce.

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Mediation support in South Dakota

If the couple files for divorce on the basis of a no-fault grounds, then the court has the right to appoint counseling sessions to reconcile the spouses. In this case, the divorce will be postponed for 30 days.

Divorce forms in South Dakota

Divorce begins with the filing of divorce form documents in court. But before that you need to prepare these documents. South Dakota has a lot of papers that suit couples with different circumstances. Keep in mind that you must prepare and submit exactly those South Dakota divorce papers that correspond to your type of divorce. All existing forms can be found on the website of the South Dakota Unified Judicial System. The most common papers are ‘Complaint (with or without children)’, the ‘Financial Affidavit’ and the ‘Summons’. Also on the site there is an instruction for couples who are looking for a divorce, so you too can study it if you decide to fill out divorce form documents without a lawyer. Keep in mind that if you submit the wrong papers that do not correspond to the type of your divorce, the court will reject them. This will lead to additional costs in the process of divorce, as well as tighten the entire process.

If you feel that you are not able to prepare South Dakota divorce papers on your own, and you do not want to contact an attorney for the help, Online Divorce in South Dakota is what you exactly need. onlinedivorce.com will pick up all the necessary papers that correspond to your case, we will also help fill them out in accordance with how the state courts require it. You do not have to spend much time studying laws and legal nuances, Online Divorce will provide you with all the necessary outh Dakota divorce papers. We give a 100% guarantee that the papers prepared through onlinedivorce.com will be approved by the court.

Uncontested divorce in South Dakota

Uncontested divorce in South Dakota

Divorce is always a difficult process. However, there is a way not to turn the process into a soap opera, but to get a divorce relatively quickly, without bothers and colossal monetary investments. Such a divorce is called uncontested divorce in South Dakota. It is faster in contrast to the classical divorce because before filing a lawsuit to the court the spouses have already discussed all the main issues that may arise during the process of marriage dissolution and came to an agreement. Thus, basing the essence of the uncontested divorce in South Dakota is that the couple has no disagreements and formalized their agreement documentarily, therefore the spouses are not required to go through court hearings that are ruthless and exhausting. In order to apply for uncontested divorce, the spouses must decide on the following circumstances:

  • Custody of common minor children, visiting hours, parental plan;
  • The amount of financial support for underage children, as well as the amount of medical insurance and services for the dentist, other cash costs;
  • How the spouses want to divide common property, including debts;
  • If one of the spouses claims, the amount of alimony and the payment period;
  • The reason for the divorce;
  • Other key issues that may arise in the process of divorce;

If the spouses have at least one unresolved dispute and can not come to a compromise, then the divorce will be called contested, so the couple will have to go through litigation and take out all their dirty whites for the review of the court. This will lead to the fact that the cost of divorce will grow and the decision can be delayed.

If the spouses are willing to compromise and cooperate in getting a divorce so as not to turn their life into a drama, they can formalize an uncontested divorce in South Dakota, provided that the couple meets the state's requirements for living. Thus, South Dakota law requires that at least one spouse be domiciled in the state, that is, reside in South Dakota for at least 1 day and has a clear intention to make South Dakota the place of his or her permanent residence. If you meet the requirements of the state, then you can start filling out the divorce form documents. The main papers for an uncontested divorce in South Dakota are:

  • Summons signed by Plaintiff’.
  • Complaint signed by Plaintiff’.
  • Proof of Service of Spouse’ (admission of service or sheriff's return of service).
  • Stipulated Agreement’ signed by both spouses before a not public.
  • Affidavit of Defendant's Non-Military Status’.
  • Affidavit of Jurisdiction and Grounds’ (SDCL Section 25-4-17.3) signed by the plaintiff and notarized.
  • Proposed Final Judgment’ or ‘Decree of Divorce’.

Please note that you are fully responsible for the divorce form documents that you file in court, so if you submit incorrect papers, the court will drop them. Before you begin to fill out, make sure that you select exactly the forms that you need, as well as clearly know what you need to do. To protect themselves many couples prefer to use the onlinedivorce.com service - the best provider of online divorce forms in US. We will select all the necessary papers for you, as well as help fill them out in accordance with the requirements of the state. With Online Divorce in South Dakota you can be absolutely sure of those papers that are suing.

After you filed the South Dakota divorce papers and the court was convinced of their correctness, you must wait 60 days for the judge to grant a divorce. In this case, you will not need to attend court hearings. If you filed papers as needed, after 60 days the court will provide a final divorce.

How to serve divorce papers in South Dakota

The last step in the process of preparing for divorce is the sending of divorce form documents to the spouse. After you have registered the South Dakota divorce papers in court, you must send your spouse a copies so that he or she learns about the commencement of the divorce proceedings and has had the opportunity to file a counterclaim. If your spouse uses the services of a lawyer, you must transfer copies of the papers to a lawyer.

South Dakota law allows you to do this in the following ways:

  • You can send documents via certified mail, but you can do this only if you are absolutely sure that your spouse will take them. After the spouse receives the papers, you will be given a receipt for the dispatch, this receipt also needs to be sued.
  • You can use the services of the sheriff. You will be charged for the work of the sheriff, but note that the sheriff makes only 1 attempt to deliver the documents. If he could not find your spouse, the documents will not be given. If the sheriff delivered the documents, he will provide you with a receipt about the service, which will need to be transferred to the court.
  • Private process server - a more reliable and expensive way of serving. This service makes several attempts to contact the spouse. After the South Dakota divorce papers are transferred, you will receive a documentary confirmation, which will need to be referred to the court.

If you want to get an uncontested divorce, you do not need to transfer the documents to the spouse, since you filed the papers together in court.
When you served a spouse, the court will set a waiting period of 60 days, regardless of the type of your divorce.

Divorce in South Dakota online
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Filing fees for divorce in South Dakota

Total fees will contain the sum of South Dakota court filing fees and cost of using the service of online divorce in South Dakota. This cost may vary by county. Please check with your local court officer to determine the exact amount.