Can South Dakota courts award alimony in a divorce?

Yes. In South Dakota, alimony is also known as spousal support. “General” alimony is financial support paid by one spouse to another. The legal basis of alimony is that divorce should not cause a dependent spouse to become impoverished or suffer a drastic reduction in his lifestyle. In other words, general alimony is intended to help the lower income spouse in providing for food, clothing, housing, and other necessities.

The purpose of alimony is to support the needs and standard of living of the spouse, not to equalize incomes. While a divorce action is pending, the court may require one spouse to pay as alimony any money necessary to support the other spouse or the children of the parties.

For more information about alimony in South Dakota, download The South Dakota Child Custody and Divorce Handbook™.