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South Dakota Child Custody
Child Custody in South Dakota

According to South Dakota Domestic Relations Laws, Title 25 - Chapters: 25-4-45, 25-4-45.1, 25-4-45.5, 25-4-45.6, the child's temporal and mental and moral welfare determines the best interest of the child.

As governed by child custody laws in South Dakota, the family courts have jurisdiction over child custody cases. The courts identify a custody routine that is plausible and is based on t

Child Custody in South Dakota

According to South Dakota Domestic Relations Laws, Title 25 - Chapters: 25-4-45, 25-4-45.1, 25-4-45.5, 25-4-45.6, the child's temporal and mental and moral welfare determines the best interest of the child.

As governed by child custody laws in South Dakota, the family courts have jurisdiction over child custody cases. The courts identify a custody routine that is plausible and is based on the best interests of the child, not on the parent's gender or financial status.

The South Dakota court considers:

  • the child's wishes or preferences as to custody, provided that he or she is mature enough to make such claims, which is usually when the child is 12 years old;
  • the child's medical, dental, education, and other needs;
  • the child's moral and mental well-being;
  • the child's physical residence;
  • the parents' wishes or preferences as to custody;
  • the parent's plan to care for other responsibilities for the child's benefit;
  • any history of domestic violence, child abuse, negligence, or substance abuse;
  • the results of any investigation on the nature of care and welfare of the parents' minor children; and
  • the testimony of any person or expert produced by the court or any party who can testify what is best for the child.

In South Dakota, the custodial parent has primary physical custody of the child and is most responsible for the daily welfare of that child. The non-custodial parent typically pays support to the custodial parent and has visitation rights. The custodial parent incurs most of the expense of caring for the child. The court often decides through mediation when the parents cannot reach an agreement.

Mandatory Parenting Class

South Dakota courts have the right to require divorcing parents with minor children to complete a parenting class before granting a divorce. It is the Judge's discretion, so he or she may require you to take a parenting class. Whether or not you are required to do so, we highly recommend taking the Children In Between parenting class for the benefit of your child(ren).

Parental Conduct

In addition to finding a parent unfit because of substance abuse or abuse or neglect towards a child, the courts also consider the conduct of both parents during the course of the marriage, and the impact of parental behavior on the child.

e best interests of the child, not on the parent's gender or financial status.

The South Dakota court considers:

  • the child's wishes or preferences as to custody, provided that he or she is mature enough to make such claims, which is usually when the child is 12 years old;
  • the child's medical, dental, education, and other needs;
  • the child's moral and mental well-being;
  • the child's physical residence;
  • the parents' wishes or preferences as to custody;
  • the parent's plan to care for other responsibilities for the child's benefit;
  • any history of domestic violence, child abuse, negligence, or substance abuse;
  • the results of any investigation on the nature of care and welfare of the parents' minor children; and
  • the testimony of any person or expert produced by the court or any party who can testify what is best for the child.

In South Dakota, the custodial parent has primary physical custody of the child and is most responsible for the daily welfare of that child. The non-custodial parent typically pays support to the custodial parent and has visitation rights. The custodial parent incurs most of the expense of caring for the child. The court often decides through mediation when the parents cannot reach an agreement.

Parental Conduct

In addition to finding a parent unfit because of substance abuse or abuse or neglect towards a child, the courts also consider the conduct of both parents during the course of the marriage, and the impact of parental behavior on the child.

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