Family Law

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What are the common terms in an Child Protection Case? A&N - Abuse and Neglect CPS - Child Protection Services DSS - Department of Social Services ICPC – Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children ICWA - Indian Child Welfare Act IFA - Initial Family Assessment PCA - Protective Capacity Assessment PDP - Present Danger Plan
What is marriage? The law defines marriage as a personal relation, between two people, arising out of a civil contract. Marriage requires consent of the parties followed by a ceremony. There are no formal residency requirements to be married in South Dakota. All that is needed to be married in this state is a valid marriage license.
What is Paternity? Paternity means fatherhood. In the legal sense, “establishing paternity” refers to the determination of a child’s “legal” father and the related rights and obligations of the father to the child. Every child has a biological father, but not every child has a “legal” father. When paternity has been established, it means that someone has been named the legal father of the child.
What does a Juvenile Proceeding Involve? A juvenile delinquency proceeding is started by the state when a child commits an act that would be considered a crime if they were an adult. While a juvenile delinquency proceeding is not a criminal case, it is criminal in nature with a few important differences.
What is domestic violence? Domestic violence is any behavior the purpose of which is to gain power and control over a spouse, partner, girl/boyfriend or intimate family member. This may include physical violence, threat of violence, sexual, emotional and psychological intimidation, verbal abuse, stalking and economic control. What is sexual abuse? Unwanted sexual activity, with perpetrators using force, making threats or taking advantage of victims unable to give consent.
  How do I make my South Dakota custody and visitation schedule? When creating a child visitation schedule in the State of South Dakota, it is important to be aware of the laws governing child custody and visitation in the State.   These laws are found in the South Dakota Codified Laws, Title 25, Domestic Relations.
Who is allowed to change their name? Many South Dakota residents may change their name following marriage or through divorce proceedings. However, some people wish to change their name for other reasons. What steps do I need to take to change my name? The South Dakota Unified Judicial System website has printable instructions and forms for both an adult and a minor child name change.
The South Dakota Legislature established guidelines which courts must use to decide that a fair share of parental income and resources is allocated to the child when that child’s parents are separated, divorced or unmarried. The joint monthly net incomes of both parents must be used in determining the obligation and divided proportionately between the parents based on their respective net incomes, even if the parties have joint physical custody. The noncustodial parent’s proportionate share establishes the amount of the child support obligation.
How do I make my SD parenting plan / child custody agreement? In South Dakota, you can write up your own parenting plan (on your own or with the other parent). You can work with an attorney or legal professional and have them create it. A stipulation and settlement agreement, mediated agreement or written agreement can be made between the parties. It will not be enforced (by law enforcement) without an order from the court.
What is a Guardianship or Conservatorship?  Guardianships and conservatorships are court-created and court-supervised relationships between two people.  In a guardianship a person, called the “guardian,” is given authority to act for the other person, called the “protected person” (or, previously, the “ward”). A conservatorship is based on the same principle, but the person given authority to make decisions for the protected person is called a “conservator.”

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