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South Dakota Divorce Residency Requirements

In order to file your Complaint for Divorce in South Dakota, you must make sure the Circuit Court has jurisdiction over your case. The most common way spouses are eligible to use a specific court system is by meeting the residency requirements. Meeting the South Dakota residency requirements is typically only a concern for a spouse who has recently moved or is planning to move in the near future. The filing requirements are as follows:

The plaintiff in an action for divorce or separate maintenance must, at the time the action is commenced, be a resident of this state, or be stationed in this state while a member of the armed services, and in order that each party be entitled to the entry of a decree or judgment of divorce or separate maintenance, that residence or military presence must be maintained until the decree is entered. The divorce may be filed in the county in which either spouse resides. The defendant has a legal right to have the case transferred to his or her county if desired. There is also a 60 day waiting period that must elapse after the date of filing before the divorce will be granted. (South Dakota Laws - Volume 9A - Title 25 - Chapters: 25-4-30, 25-4-30.1, and 25-4-34)

Since divorce is governed by state law, it is required that you meet specific residency requirements in order to file for a divorce in the state of South Dakota. It is most common that people file for a divorce in the county in which they live. You can also read more about the South Dakota residency requirements in the South Dakota state statutes located at: http://legis.state.sd.us/. If you are unsure of whether or not you meet the South Dakota residency requirements you can try contacting the Clerk’s office of the domestic relations or family law division of your county courthouse.