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Legal separation in South Dakota


Saying "I DO" in a beautiful ceremony feels like a dream. Hundreds of couples after that proceed to their honeymoon destinations to make memories. Some are lucky enough even to have babies. Due to the high intimacy after the wedding, everyone the couple meets cannot help but congratulate them on the new wedding. A few years later, you look into your partner's eyes and think you made a mistake. Maybe during courtship, people can camouflage their weaknesses. Therefore you get into marriage without knowing your partner well.

For some couples, everything turns out positive, and they can work on their differences and weaknesses as well. However, it is the beginning of an ugly process of losing one another for some. The feeling of waking up beside a stranger cannot be carried for a long time. Therefore, the couple is likely to start researching the options they have.

Such couples have two options: getting divorced or getting a legal separation. For some reason, it does not feel right that the couple goes for a divorce. More couples prefer going for legal separation. This article is intended to help such couples get familiar with the legal process they are about to start. It entails a lot of requirements as well as processes. Here is everything you need to know about legal separation.

What is the legal separation in South Dakota?


In South Dakota, the term legal separation is not recognized. Instead, it is known as separate maintenance. Separate maintenance in South Dakota does not purposely end a marriage. Instead, the couple is required to live separately but remain technically married. The law enforces this setup. It involves a legal procedure that is similar to that of divorce.

How to file for legal separation in South Dakota


Anyone between the separate couples can file for legal separation. Filing is easy and does not take a long time, provided you have the necessary documentation and know the procedure. Filing legal separation entails filling out a form whereby you are required to have documents to:

Filing a legal separation petition can be done online by simply contacting an attorney or the court clerk when filing on your own. One also needs to file the separation agreement. This document covers all issues that demand special attention after the separation, like children. The next step is to serve the spouse when you are not filing jointly. When filing alone, the spouse should respond within the next 30 days.

At this point, check if there is an issue that hasn't been resolved. In case of unresolved issues, a mediator is co-opted. Collaborative law may also be enforced to enhance settlement. A judge may decide on certain unresolved issues. When preparing the separation agreement, the couple needs to recognize the importance of a quick agreement as it quickens legal separation time.

Advantages of legal separation in South Dakota


Planning for separation will throw all sorts of situations to your face. There is an instance that will bring you merry, while others will daunt your spirit. While looking at the positive side of legal separation, here are some advantages that include:

Disadvantages of legal separation in South Dakota


Legal separation is not an all perfect package, though it allows you to work on your marriage. There are some disadvantages a couple of encounter in the pursuit. Some of the disadvantages include:

Legal Separation vs. Divorce in South Dakota


These two processes need to go head to head for you to get a glimpse o what suits your marriage best. The two will relate in some instances, while there are some distinct differences. Here is a comparison of legal separation and divorce.

Legally separate couples have the power to restore their marriage if they successfully reconcile. This is the intention of legal separation for most couples. Marriage ends in an instance and leaves the couple free to date and remarry.

Legal separation will leave your partner power to make decisions in joint investments, while divorce does not leave a room whatsoever as all property is divided.

The divorce takes a long, tedious process that will demand financial input. It takes the judge to nullify the marriage. Legal separation is similar to divorce, as it takes a lengthy legal process to be legally separated. The separation is also declared in a court of law.

Both processes will separate a family since you get to discuss and agree on child support and custody issues, among others.

How long does legal separation take in South Dakota?


Being one and remaining that way is the wish of every couple; however, every marriage is faced with challenges. The ability to reconcile depends on the individual ability of every couple. The court considers this, and marriages with a high chance of reconciliation have their cases delayed by 30 days. Couples who do not show any chances of reconciliation will have their cases commence immediately.

Once the proceedings begin, it may take several months before the process is completed. Couples need to have an understanding and responsiveness to each other.

How much can it cost to file for legal separation in South Dakota?


The cost of filing for legal separation in South Dakota is a staggering figure of $95. As it is with every case, the case's uniqueness will determine how much the final cost will be. Some legal separation cases will take a longer time and also cost more. One factor determining how much a legal separation case will cost is time. Unresolved issues cause another factor, where mediation costs and experts are involved.

Child custody and support in South Dakota legal separation


Children are affected when their parents are separated legally. They are forced into an arrangement by the law where they have to be with one parent most of the time. South Dakota allows children below seven years to be with their mothers. However, child custody is rewarded to the innocent parent for marriages with children below 18 years. A separation agreement determines custody, or the judge makes a ruling.

Child custody will also be determined based on the separation agreement or ruling in court. Support is given by one or both parents. The proportion is given in accordance with the resources of each parent. The child's needs will also determine the amount of support they will receive.

Trial separation in South Dakota


A trial separation is an informal separation that some couples go through after their marriages are rocky. This arrangement is purely based on the understanding and agreement of the couple. This process is not determined or interfered with by the law. This process is advantageous to the couple since it helps to prevent any premature legal separation cases or divorce.

Do you need an attorney to file for South Dakota's legal separation?


Attorney help, advice and directions are very helpful and essential. A couple doesn't need to have an attorney when filing legal separation, though it is highly recommended. Some instances will require intervention from an attorney, especially where one party has problems discussing anything in the separation agreement. An attorney acts as a mediator and helps quicken the separation process.

What is the South Dakota separation agreement?


A separation agreement will refer to a document prepared by a couple who intends to undergo a legal separation. The couple needs to agree as detailed as impossible to avoid misunderstandings or misinterpretations since it is legally binding. It is also important that the couple understands the document well and sign it. Finally, the judge signs and drives most solutions from this document.

How to prepare South Dakota separation agreement


This document is essential because it helps couples going through a separation settle their issues on a level of their capability. It is essential to have this document and ensure the presence of a witness. There are things to consider discussing and agreeing upon that include:

The more issues you agree upon, the better your case will be in court.

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