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South Dakota Alimony

South Dakota awards alimony when it makes a divorce more equitable. The court looks at all the circumstances and decides on a case-by-case basis.

Either spouse may seek alimony in South Dakota. The court determines whether to award alimony, the amount, and duration based on the interests of justice and the situation of the parties. A spouse may seek alimony if he or she lacks the assets and income to be self-supporting. The court awards alimony on a temporary or permanent basis based on the owing spouse's ability to pay, the spouses' ages, the duration of the marriage, and the requesting spouse's ability to work.

South Dakota also considers the degree of marital fault by the recipient.

A change of circumstances in either one party’s ability to pay, or a recipient’s need, may be justification for modification of alimony. The party who seeks a modification must petition the court and provide evidence that the modification is in the interests of justice.

South Dakota courts are allowed to consider marital fault in determining alimony. The court also considers other factors, including the duration of the marriage and the parties’ needs.

Alimony lasts as long the court determines it to be just. A support agreement generally states the specific term for an award. Modification and termination may be available no matter what the term states in the agreement.

Support payments may be deducted from federal taxes, and the recipient must pay income tax on the payments.

Types of Alimony

In South Dakota courts may order temporary, short- and long-term alimony. Temporary alimony is granted at the discretion of the court during the divorce proceedings and before the final decree. Short-term alimony may be granted to allow the receiving party time to gain necessary skills. Long-Term, or permanent, alimony may be granted to a spouse who has significant needs, and is usually reserved for lengthy marriages.

Factors Considered by the Court

In South Dakota, alimony is discretionary and according to South Dakota Laws - Volume 9A - Title 25 - Chapters: 25-4-42, 25-4-44, 25-4-45, the court may order one spouse to make such suitable allowance to the other spouse for support on a permanent or temporary arrangement. The court considers:

  • the duration of the marriage;
  • the financial repercussions of each spouse;
  • the financial resources of each spouse;
  • the age of the spouses;
  • the health condition of the spouses; and
  • the marital fault that caused the divorce if any.

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