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South Dakota Divorce Lawyer

File for Divorce in South Dakota with Our Rapid City Divorce Lawyers

One of the top concerns people have during divorce proceedings is that they will not be able to enjoy their future once it concludes. They may feel overwhelmed by the various legal issues surrounding the divorce.

At Aspen Legacy Planning in South Dakota, it is our South Dakota divorce lawyer's mission to provide divorce help and make certain you do not feel that way about your divorce. The truth is your future can be bright, hopeful, and happier after your divorce ends — but it might just take some careful legal representation to get there.

Our family law firm provides in-depth legal family law services in:

  • Contested and uncontested divorce
  • Child support and custody
  • Property division

Take control of your tomorrow with our help. Reach out for a no-obligation consultation with our family lawyers in Rapid City, SD at (605) 610-4016

Visit our divorce lawyer reviews to see why clients choose our South Dakota family law firm when they need the best divorce lawyer in Rapid City, SD.

What You Should Know About Divorce in South Dakota

Every divorce process is unique because the two people getting the divorce are unique themselves. Furthermore, each state in the United States has its own rules when it comes to divorce law and family law. Whether your divorce in South Dakota goes through family law mediation or litigation, these state laws will highly inform how your divorce will proceed.

How to File for Divorce in South Dakota

The initial filing of a divorce is straightforward, but it is best to have a lawyer help you. Once you hire a divorce attorney they will prepare a summons and complaint which is served to your spouse. This complaint asks the court to grant a divorce, states the grounds of your divorce, and states your requests such as child custody, child support, alimony, division of property and debts, and other important terms. Your spouse will have thirty days to respond to the complaint once it has been served.

Filing for a No-Fault Divorce in South Dakota

In South Dakota, in uncontested divorce cases and by stipulation, irreconcilable differences will serve as sufficient grounds for divorce. This means you can file for a "no-fault" divorce as long as the divorce is not contested by the ex-spouse.

However, in a contested divorce case, a person must prove a "ground" for divorce.

Grounds for divorce in South Dakota can include:

  • Adultery
  • Extreme cruelty
  • Desertion
  • Willful neglect
  • Habitual intemperance, or drunkenness
  • Conviction of a felony
  • Long term mental illness

Ninety-eight percent of contested family cases are based on the ground of extreme cruelty, as it is the ground most closely fitting the modern trend of "no-fault" divorce.

Division of Property in a South Dakota Divorce

Some states are community property states. Almost any property acquired during the marriage is considered equally owned by both spouses in a marriage. In community property states, this property is divided equally in a divorce.

South Dakota is not a community property state. This means marital property is not divided 50/50 between each spouse when a divorce happens. Instead, both marital and separate property is divided based on equitable property distribution rules.

Equitable Property Distribution in South Dakota

Equitable property distribution rules state that any property owned by a marital couple will be divided among each person in accordance with their circumstances. This includes property owned both jointly and individually. Sometimes, the property you solely owned before the marriage can be divided, if the court determines it would be equitable or fair.

If, after your divorce, you believe your ex-spouse misrepresented their real estate property or assets, you can bring a motion to court. If the omission is proven to be intentional, you could be awarded damages. The statute of limitations to bring this motion to court is within two years of discovery, or three years of the divorce. This extends to ten years if the assets were intentionally hidden. A South Dakota divorce lawyer can help you bring a motion to court.

Alimony in South Dakota

Either spouse can seek alimony, or spousal support, in the state of South Dakota during a legal separation. The courts may grant temporary, short, or long-term alimony at their discretion. South Dakota courts decide on awarding alimony depending on a number of factors.

Factors for awarding alimony in South Dakota include:

  • The ability of the requesting spouse to be self-sufficient
  • The length of the marriage
  • The age of the divorcing couple
  • Any health conditions of either spouse
  • The marital fault causing the divorce, if any

Child Custody and Child Support in South Dakota

Divorce and child custody disputes can prove contentious. Child custody determinations are usually concluded so the child can see both parents somewhat equally through a joint custody agreement. If you want sole custody of your child, then you will have to work uphill for it.

Child support is expected to be paid by both parents to a reasonable degree. The factors for child support are based on the income of both parents, the child’s needs, and the possible future earning capacity of each parent. Our legal team of divorce attorneys can help you get a clear understanding of all of these financing factors so we can work towards a fair child support agreement that takes care of your child.

Reach Out to Our South Dakota Family Divorce Lawyers

To make certain your divorce is handled correctly and your best interests are upheld, our South Dakota divorce lawyers take the time to get to know you and your situation as to best provide personalized, caring representation.

No one is given a cookie-cutter solution or a pre-manufactured approach to their case. It is this dedication to genuine yet effective legal representation that has made us stand out for 30 years, and we proudly continue the tradition each time our family law attorneys accept a new divorce case for a client.

Contact our Rapid City law office at any time to get started with a no-obligation consultation with a divorce lawyer in Rapid City, SD.

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