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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  • What happens to your children if you pass away without a will?

    Under South Dakota law, if you pass away without a will you are:

    • Surrendering to the state of South Dakota the important decisions affecting the well-being and future security of your family
    • At risk of having your property divided in a way that's not to your liking
    • Foregoing any opportunities to reduce your taxes

  • What does jointly held real estate mean in estate planning?

    What Does Jointly Held Real Estate Mean In Estate Planning?

    Real estate is commonly a joint asset.  There are three ways to be joint owners of real estate.  Each is different in what happens at the death of one of the joint owners.  The way a deed is written and recorded will determine how the real estate is held.

    Example Of Jointly Held Real Estate In Regards to Estate Planning

    Real estate is commonly a joint asset.  There are three ways to be joint owners of real estate.  Each is different in what happens at the death of one of the joint owners.  The way a deed is written and recorded will determine how the real estate is held and passed.

  • South Dakota Child Support FAQ

    In South Dakota, a parent’s child support obligation is governed by the Child Support Guidelines. The amount to be paid is determined primarily by the combined incomes of the parents, the number of children for whom support is required, and the amount of time the children spend with each parent.

    DO PARENTS HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO SUPPORT THEIR MINOR CHILD?

    Yes. The parents of a minor child are jointly and severally obligated for the necessary maintenance, education, and support of the child.

    AM I ENTITLED TO CHILD SUPPORT?

    Maybe. Child support is calculated by taking into consideration many factors. Specifically, the court will look at the custody arrangement, income of both parties, cost of insurance, and child care expenses. Child support is a set formula that is set by the South Dakota child support guidelines. As you can see many factors are taken into consideration and every case is different. If you have custody of your child and you think you might be entitled to child support contact our office to schedule a consultation and we can evaluate your specific circumstances and give you more information.

    HOW IS CHILD SUPPORT DETERMINED?

    The amount of support each parent pays depends on income and time spent with the child. South Dakota sets a base support amount according to the child support guidelines, which are simply a fee schedule, but the final amount of support a court will order could be quite different. Other costs including the child’s medical care must be included. Also, a court can adjust the amount of support either up or down to better meet the child’s needs.

    WHAT HAPPENS IF ONE PARENT DOESN'T WORK OUTSIDE THE HOME?

    Except when a parent is physically or mentally disabled, it is presumed that a parent is capable of being employed at the minimum wage and the parent’s child support obligation is determined at a rate not less than full-time employment at the state minimum wage.

    DOES A STEPPARENT HAVE A DUTY TO SUPPORT HIS SPOUSE'S CHILDREN?

    Yes. A stepparent must maintain his spouse’s children born prior to their marriage and is responsible as a parent for their support and education. However, this responsibility does not release the natural or adoptive parents of the children from their support obligations.

    For more about child support in our state, download The South Dakota Child Custody and Divorce Handbook™.

  • Does South Dakota have a "no fault" divorce?

    No. In South Dakota, you must have grounds for a divorce.

    Speak With An Experienced Family Law Attorney Today

    If you need the guidance of an experienced Family Law attorney please feel free to contact us online or call our office directly at 888.864.9981 to schedule your free consultation.

  • In South Dakota, what is temporary spousal support?

    It is common for attorneys to request temporary relief when a divorce has been started. These are basically temporary orders to help maintain the status quo and spell out the "ground rules" while the divorce action is pending.

     

    Issues such as child custody, support, and visitation are often addressed in these temporary orders. Other things which can also be included are temporary alimony, who will live in the family residence, and how the bills will be paid until the divorce is finalized. 

    Speak With An Experienced Family Law Attorney Today

    If you need the guidance of an experienced Family Law attorney please feel free to contact us online or call our office directly at 888.864.9981 to schedule your free consultation.

  • What standard does a court use in minor child relocation hearing?

    Beginning on July 1, 2020, a court must consider the "best interest of the child" standard if the proposed relocation would result in a substantial alteration to the existing parenting time arrangement.

  • In South Dakota, how many days are allowed for the solemnization of marriage?

    Beginning on July 1, 2020, any marriage license issued in South Dakota will become void unless the marriage is solemnized within ninety days.

  • In South Dakota, can a superintendent require a certification of health of a school district employee?

    Yes. If there is reasonable cause to believe that a school district employee is suffering from a mental or physical condition that could be detrimental to the health or safety of the employee, any student, or any other employee, the superintendent may require a certification of health. The expense of obtaining the certification of health ia paid by the school.

  • Are uncertified school administrators subject to the South Dakota Code of Ethics?

    Yes. Individuals employed in an administrative capacity, but who do not hold a valid South Dakota certificate, are subject to the Code of Professional Ethics.

  • What is a "stepped-up" basis?

    The "basis" of an asset is what a person has paid for an asset together with money invested in an asset after purchase This determines gain/loss for income tax purposes.

    A "stepped-up basis" occurs when assets get a new basis when they are passed by inheritance (through will or trust). These assets will be re-valued as of the date of death of the owner.

    If the value of the asset has gone up in value since purchase, the new owner will take that asset with a new basis equal to the current value without paying tax on that increase. This has the potential to save a significant amount of capital gains upon sale in the future and can be a good way to do some strategic estate planning.

    Example: My mom bought real estate in 1950 for $25,000. When she died last year it was appraised at $500,000. I received that real estate from her estate and my basis is now $500,000 tax-free. If my mom had sold this real estate before she died she would have had to pay taxes on $425,000 of gain, but because she died with the property I received a "step-up" in basis to the current value.