What factors does a South Dakota court look at when determining joint legal custody?

In ordering joint legal custody, a South Dakota court may consider the expressed desires of the parents and may grant to one party the ultimate responsibility over specific aspects of the child's welfare or may divide those aspects between the parties based on the best interest of the child.  If it appears to the court to be in the best interest of the child, the court may order, or the parties may agree, how any such responsibility shall be divided. Such areas of responsibility may include the child's primary physical residence, child care, education, extracurricular activities, medical and dental care, religious instruction, the child's use of motor vehicles, and any other responsibilities which the court finds unique to a particular family or in the best interest of the child.  If the court awards joint legal custody, it may also order joint physical custody in such proportions as are in the best interests of the child, notwithstanding the objection of either parent.

Brooke Swier Schloss
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Family Law and Estate Planning attorney helping families across South Dakota plan and protect their loved ones