Can a South Dakota court appoint an attorney to represent a child in a divorce or custody proceeding?

Yes.  Under South Dakota law, a court may appoint legal counsel for any child involved in any divorce or custody proceeding, in which the child is alleged to be neglected or abused, or if a parent, guardian, or custodian request counsel be appointed in such proceeding and if the court determines that it is in the best interest of the child to have counsel appointed for the child. The counsel shall be charged with representation of the child's best interests and may not be counsel for any other party involved.  The court may designate other persons who may or may not be attorneys to assist in the performance of the counsel's duties.  The court shall allocate the cost of the appointed counsel between the parents, guardian, or custodian of the child.

Brooke Swier Schloss
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Estate Planning & Family Law Attorney