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South Dakota Child Custody Laws


Posted by James

For anyone who is wondering out there, it is possible for someone other than a parent to have custody of a child under South Dakota Child Custody Laws.

If someone other than the parent is going to get custody, first dibs are given to the relative of a child. Some instances in which a relative might be awarded temporary custody is if a parent is incarcerated, is having issues with substance abuse, or is mentally ill.

Here are some basics regarding child custody. When parents divorce, the divorce decree will state whom the children will live with, as well as the visitation rights of the other parent. In most cases, the parents will work out these arrangements between themselves, sometimes with the assistance of their lawyers or a mediator. However, sometimes the court does have to step in and make decisions, specifically when the parents can’t come to an agreement, or when unmarried parents can’t agree on who will have custody of their child.

In most situations, the parent with whom the child will live most of the time is awarded physical custody. However, the parent who has physical custody of the child often shares legal custody with the non-custodial parent. Parents with legal custody are allowed to make decisions about the child’s education, religion, health care, and other concerns.

Some parents choose joint custody, in which the child or children spend an equal amount of time with both parents. Many parents choose this arrangement because it lessens the feeling of loss a child might have as a result of a divorce. However, parents who go the joint custody route must be willing to cooperate and demonstrate the ability to make joint decisions.

Another less popular option is split custody, in which the children are split between the parents. However, courts generally prefer not to separate siblings.

When the child’s parents are unmarried, custody is usually awarded to the mother unless the father takes action to be awarded custody. It is usually pretty difficult for an unwed father to gain custody of his children unless the mother is unfit.

I hope you’ve learned something about South Dakota Child Custody Laws. Thanks for reading.

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