Get Answers to Your Highest Priority South Dakota Legal Questions

Swier Law Firm FAQ


Have questions? We have answers! Our South Dakota attorneys answer the questions they hear most often from clients just like you.

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  • How do I start a business in South Dakota?

    In business, there are no guarantees. There is simply no way to eliminate all of the risks associated with starting a business, but you can improve your chances of success with good planning, preparation, and insight. In particular, knowing how the law affects your business can help you avoid many costly risks. More and more, the law affects every aspect of a business operation - from relationships with landlords, customers, and suppliers to dealings with governmental agencies over taxes, licenses, and zoning.

    In The 11 Essential Tips To Starting And Running A Business in South Dakota™, Swier Law Firm's Business & Corporate Law Practice Group provides a step-by-step process to starting your business in our state.

    For more information - click here.

  • What Is The Minimum Age For Getting Married In South Dakota?


    Any unmarried person who is eighteen (18) years old or older, and who is not otherwise disqualified, is capable of consenting to a marriage. However, if either person is between the age of sixteen and eighteen, he or she must provide the county register of deeds with a notarized statement of consent to marry from one parent or legal guardian.

  • In South Dakota, Can A Student Loan Be Considered Marital Property?

    Yes. Although an educational degree is not property subject to division, student-loan debt may be included in, and allocated as, a part of the marital estate.

  • Can domestic abuse be considered in a South Dakota child custody case?

    Yes. When making a custody determination, a South Dakota court “is required to consider a conviction of domestic abuse, a conviction of assault as defined, and a history of domestic abuse.”

  • Is Adding Someone To My Bank Account A Good Idea?


    People often come in to do estate planning who have already taken steps to simplify their life as daily tasks become more challenging. A common step is to add a child or trusted individual to a checking or bank account to get help with paying bills, buying groceries, or other financial tasks. It seems logical and often accomplishes what is desired, but this simple action can have unintended results. When a person is added to an account, they become a joint owner of those assets. When one joint owner dies, the person still living automatically becomes the owner without passing through a Will or probate.

    Thus, if a Will says to divide assets among three kids, but one child has been added to bank accounts for convenience, that child has been given everything in those bank accounts automatically when the parent dies. What a Will says makes no difference. Clearly, this is probably not the intention. To avoid this happening, it is best to have a power of attorney drafted. A power of attorney will allow this child to assist with various aspects of everyday life - financial and beyond - yet the person needing assistance still owns all their property and can pass it as they desire through a Will.

  • In A South Dakota Divorce, Is A Spouse Required To Show A Need For Alimony?

    Yes. The spouse requesting alimony must establish "a need for support and that their spouse has sufficient means and abilities to provide for part or all of the need."

  • Is South Dakota An "All Property" State?

    Yes. South Dakota is an ‘all property state,’ meaning that ‘all property of either or both divorcing parties is subject to equitable division by the court, regardless of title or origin.’

  • What is required of a Full and Individual Evaluation (FIE) under IDEA?


    A FIE must consist of procedures "to determine whether a child is a child with a disability [as defined by IDEA]" and "to determine the educational needs of such child."

  • What is a Full and Individual Evalution (FIE)?

    Under IDEA, a Full and Individual Evaluation (FIE) requires a school district to "conduct a full and individual initial evaluation . . . before the initial provision of special education and related services to a child with a disability."

  • What is the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?


    The FMLA prohibits an employer from taking adverse action against an employee because the employee exercises a right to which she is entitled. Taking FMLA leave, however, does not give an employee greater protections against termination for reasons unrelated to the FMLA than was available before. In other words, termination is actionable under the FMLA only if the employee was discharged because of her FMLA leave. To proceed with a claim, an employee must present sufficient evidence for a jury to find that her termination was motivated by her exercise of rights under the FMLA.