What is South Dakota's Shared Parenting Law?

South Dakota's "Shared Parenting Law" went into effect on July 1, 2014. The new law does not establish a presumption of shared parenting and the court will still have the final say in determining custody. The law does however, encourage the use of shared parenting in divorces.

Joint physical custody of a minor child shall be considered by the court, upon application of either parent in any custody dispute. This is a significant change from the prior law which required the parents to agree in order to have "shared parenting" ordered. 

If a party is filing a modification of custody, that party still has the burden of proving a substantial change in circumstances. The fact that this law has changed is not enough to meet that burden without other substantial changes.