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Benefits of 
an online divorce

Benefits of an online divorce

Why Choose is an inexpensive and convenient way to prepare the paperwork for an uncontested divorce in South Dakota. is perfect for spouses who can agree on divorce terms and want to avoid hiring an expensive divorce lawyer. allows divorcing couples to prepare affordable state-specific court forms without leaving home. They only need to answer several questions using a smartphone, a PC, or a tablet with an internet connection.

The process of paperwork preparation consists of the following simple steps:

  • Pass a brief verification procedure and answer questions about your divorce.
  • Check your answers and fix mistakes before hitting the “Submit” button.
  • Download the forms in a PDF format in two business days.
  • Print and sign the papers before taking them to the court clerk. can help you save time and money on divorce preparations!

South Dakota divorce forms

South Dakota Divorce Forms

Filing for divorce starts with collecting and filing legal papers with the local court. The required documents differ depending on the circumstances, such as minor children and the type of divorce.

The basic forms to initiate a divorce in South Dakota include:

  • Complaint (Form UJS-310 or Form UJS-312)
  • Summons (Form UJS-309 or Form UJS-311)
  • Case Filing Statement (Form UJS-232)
  • Admission of Service of Summons and Complaint (Form UJS-317A or Form UJS-317B)
  • Notice and Admission of Service of Summons and Complaint (Form UJS-315A or Form UJS-315B)
  • Motion to Waive Filing Fee & Service of Process Fee (Form UJS‐022)
  • Financial Affidavit (Form UJS-023)
  • Order Waiving Filing Fee and Service of Process Fee (Form UJS-028)
  • Stipulation and Settlement Agreement (without Children) (Form UJS-324)
  • Stipulation and Settlement Agreement (with Minor Children) (Form UJS-325)
  • Application for Waiver of $25 Filing Fee for an Answer or Responsive Pleading (Form UJS-137)
  • Affidavit of Plaintiff and Defendant as to Jurisdiction and Reasons for Divorce (Form UJS-319A or UJS-319B)
  • Judgment and Decree of Divorce (Form UJS-326A or Form UJS-326B)
  • Affidavit on Court-Approved Parenting Course (Form UJS 364)
  • Child Support Filing Data Form (UJS-089)
  • Affidavit of Defendant’s Military Status (UJS-306)
Divorce forms preparation

Divorce forms preparation

How to Fill Out Divorce Forms in South Dakota

After a petitioner obtains blank forms from the courts directly or using online self-help resources, they need to complete them with correct information. Unfortunately, filling out the papers is often overwhelming for spouses without experience dealing with the court system.

Thus, here are a few rules to complete the papers without mistakes:

  • Read the questions and instructions in the forms.
  • If you see an unfamiliar term or concept, look it up in a dictionary or South Dakota Codified Laws.
  • Collect necessary information and documents (the date of marriage and separation, ID, each party’s address, etc.) that will help you answer the questions in the forms.
  • Discuss the critical terms with your husband or wife if you want to file for an uncontested divorce.
  • Fill out the forms with black ink.
  • Check the papers for mistakes and correct them.

Several forms need notarization, meaning that the petitioner must sign them before a notary public. Plus, it might come with additional costs.

If the spouses forget to notarize the divorce documents or make mistakes while filling them out, the district clerk will not accept the filing. For this reason, it is paramount to complete the forms correctly.

Fortunately, spouses who need help with the paperwork can use, a reliable online service that provides state-specific papers promptly and inexpensively. This platform will select and complete the legal forms in two business days. Additionally, each client will receive a detailed guide with filing instructions.

Filing for
Divorce in
South Dakota

Steps to Consider

Residency Requirements

To issue a divorce decree, South Dakota courts must establish jurisdiction over the divorcing couple’s property, children, etc. For this reason, the spouses must meet the state’s residency requirements.

Under South Dakota laws, the plaintiff must reside or be stationed as a military member within the state’s limits. The judges also need authority to decide child-related issues (e.g., child custody and support), which is possible if the child has lived in South Dakota for the previous six months.

Grounds for Divorce

The grounds for divorce in South Dakota can be no-fault and fault-based, depending on the circumstances. The spouses may choose irreconcilable differences as the legal reason for divorce as long as these differences are substantial enough to break a marriage.

The fault-based grounds include the following:

  • Adultery
  • Extreme physical or mental abuse
  • Wilful desertion
  • Willful refusal to provide for the family’s needs
  • Habitual use of alcohol and drugs
  • Conviction of a felony during marriage
Initial Filing

The plaintiff must complete the divorce forms and file them with the family court in a country where they or their spouse lives or is stationed. The documents include the Complaint, Summons, Case Filing Statement, and Financial Affidavit.

The plaintiff must make at least two copies of the original forms - one for them and one to serve the defendant. They must also pay a filing fee so the court clerk can accept the paperwork.

Filing Fees

The court fees for filing for divorce in South Dakota are approximately $100, but they may vary slightly from county to county. However, if a person cannot afford them because of a difficult financial situation, they may request a fee waiver.

The petitioner must file a Motion to Waive Filing Fee & Service of Process Fee to ask a judge to waive the fees. The judge will also review the Financial Affidavit before granting this request.

Serving the Respondent

To start with the marriage dissolution process, the plaintiff must notify the defendant (non-filing party) about the divorce. The plaintiff can serve the other spouse by:

  • hand delivery
  • paying a private process server or a sheriff
  • certified mail

The defendant must receive the Summons, copies of the Complaint, Financial Affidavit, and Parenting Guidelines. After they get these papers, the plaintiff must file a proof of service with the court (Form UJS-317A/B for hand delivery and UJS-315A/B for mailing).

Waiting Period

South Dakota has a waiting period of 60 days between serving papers on the defendant (and filing the proof of service) and finalizing a divorce. It concerns both contested and uncontested cases.

This waiting period includes 30 days for a defendant to file the response papers. Additionally, couples with children must use these 60 days to complete court-approved parenting courses. The judge may waive this requirement if the parties show good cause.

Finalizing a Divorce Case

Couples with uncontested divorces must complete and file a Settlement Agreement (UJS-325), Child Support Filing Data Form (UJS-089), and an Affidavit as to Jurisdiction and Grounds (UJS-319BA/B).

The judge will review the papers and, if everything is in order, issue a final judgment by signing the Judgment and Decree of Divorce (UJS-326A/B). After that, the clerk will send both spouses copies of the decree and the Notice of Entry of Judgment.

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Uncontested divorce 
in South Dakota

Uncontested Divorce in South Dakota

Spouses pursuing an uncontested divorce resolve all their disputes outside the courthouse. The issues the couples need to agree on include property division, children, alimony, etc.

They negotiate these terms independently or with a divorce mediator’s help. Either way, they minimize the court involvement in the outcome of their divorce.

The one obstacle they need to overcome is paperwork. Among standard forms, the courts require that these couples develop a mutual settlement agreement containing the following provisions:

  • division of real estate, vehicles, assets, debts, and other property items;
  • child custody and child support;
  • alimony and health insurance, etc.

With, preparing these papers will be easy and quick. This online service will draft personalized documents in only two business days. The spouses will also receive detailed filing instructions to file their divorce with the family court.

Child custody

Getting a Divorce with Children in South Dakota

Child custody

Spouses with minor children must decide how to split the responsibilities concerning the child, e.g., where the child will live after divorce and who will pay child support. The parents may develop a joint parenting plan and give it to the judge for approval or go to mediation and discuss the terms before the hearing.

South Dakota family law offers the following types of custody:

  • Joint legal custody. This type allows both parents equal rights in making important decisions about the child’s health, education, etc.
  • Sole legal custody. Only the primary custodian can decide what will be best for the child.
  • Joint physical custody. The child has frequent contact and communication with both parents and resides in each parent’s home for approximately 180 days.
  • Sole physical custody. The child lives with one parent permanently and meets the other during visitation.

If they can’t agree on custody, the judge will decide these issues at the hearing by considering the following factors:

  • each parent’s fitness to be a physical and legal custodian;
  • the child’s physical and emotional needs;
  • each parent’s willingness to let the child have frequent contact with the other parent;
  • the child’s relationship with the parents, siblings, and other people living in a child’s potential permanent residency;
  • the history of domestic violence and emotional abuse, etc.
Child Support

Child Support

Under South Dakota family law, all parents must support their minor children financially after divorce or separation. The parent without primary physical custody is usually responsible for providing child support, while the other ex-spouse spends money directly on the child in their care.

The amount of this monthly payment is calculated using the state guidelines based on the Income Shares Model. The formula uses the parents’ combined income and the number of children.

For example, if the combined income is $1,500, support for one child will be $395, for two children - $577, and so on. If custody is shared, child support will be reduced according to the custody time.

Child support ends when the child turns 18 and is not attending secondary (high) school. If they are enrolled in a high school education full-time, the support is terminated when they turn 19 or graduate, whichever comes first.

Divorce Without a Lawyer in South Dakota

Divorce Without
a Lawyer
in South Dakota

Divorces without legal representation have become a widely used option when both parties agree to have an uncontested divorce. Another undoubtful benefit of such a method is its simplicity and low cost compared to litigation.

Amicable couples can significantly decrease their expenses by going through a divorce without an attorney. For instance, the median hourly fee of a lawyer in South Dakota is $200, but it can be higher if they are employed in a prestigious law firm.

Lawyer-free divorces also mean that spouses must collect the legal paperwork independently. They can either look for DIY forms online or use a paperwork preparation service like allows spouses to draft state-specific papers to start their uncontested divorce without a lawyer. The process is fast and straightforward. Moreover, the price is much lower than paying an attorney for the paperwork preparation. will select and fill out every form the spouses need for their divorce in only two business days. In addition, they will receive a comprehensive filing guide with instructions on filing these papers with the court.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take to get divorced in South Dakota?

All divorcing couples must wait at least 60 days to get divorced in South Dakota. In reality, uncontested cases take 2-3 months on average. However, a contested divorce can extend for 6-10 months, depending on the conflicts.

Can I get a free divorce in South Dakota?

A person unable to pay the filing fees can ask for a fee waiver by filing the Motion to Waive the Filing Fee, Financial Affidavit, and Order Waiving the Filing Fee.

How do I file for divorce in South Dakota?

A plaintiff must file a Complaint, Summons, and Case Filing Statement with the court in a county where either spouse resides.

How much does a divorce cost in South Dakota?

The median price of a divorce in South Dakota is $15,000. However, uncontested cases can cost less if spouses avoid lawyers and use to prepare all court-required papers.