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.
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™.