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Residency Requirements for a South Dakota Divorce
South Dakota has its own divorce laws regarding who is eligible to file for a divorce. Each state protects its jurisdiction and makes sure the appropriate laws are applied to the appropriate cases. To prevent your case from being dismissed, make sure you meet the South Dakota residency requirements. The most common mistake people make is believing they must divorce in the state in which they were married. This is simply not true. Most divorce cases throughout the United States are filed in the county in which the filing spouse resides.

South Dakota Filing Requirements: In order to file for a divorce in South Dakota, residency requirements must be met for the court to accept the case. If the court discovers it does not have jurisdictional rights to hear the case it will not be accepted or it will eventually be dismissed. The requirements are as follows:

The plaintiff in an action for divorce or separate maintenance must, at the time the action is commenced, be a resident of this state, or be stationed in this state while a member of the armed services, and in order that each party be entitled to the entry of a decree or judgment of divorce or separate maintenance, that residence or military presence must be maintained until the decree is entered. The divorce may be filed in the county in which either spouse resides. The defendant has a legal right to have the case transferred to his or her county if desired. There is also a 60 day waiting period that must elapse after the date of filing before the divorce will be granted. (South Dakota Laws - Volume 9A - Title 25 - Chapters: 25-4-30, 25-4-30.1, and 25-4-34)

Copyright Notice: The above synopsis of South Dakota residency requirements for divorce is original material which is owned an copyrighted by Divorce Source, Inc. This material has been adapted from applicable state laws and unauthorized reproduction is prohibited. Violation of this notice will result in immediate legal action.

If you discover that you DO NOT meet at least one of the above residency requirements, you can consider the following 4 options:

1. Do not proceed with a divorce and attempt to save your marriage.
2. Establish residency in South Dakota for the period time set forth above (this does not mean you have to wait to begin the process of getting your documents).
3. Have your spouse do the filing if he or she meets the necessary residency requirements for South Dakota.
4. Choose another state in which you or your spouse may meet the residency requirements (all state residency laws are unique, so be sure to check the state in which you were married as a potential option).

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