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How does child support work in South Dakota?

On Behalf of | Nov 25, 2020 | Divorce |

If you are getting a divorce or separating from your partner, and you share children, figuring out how you are going to support them can be a bit of a challenge. This situation probably has you wondering how child support works in South Dakota and how support laws will affect your family. Thankfully, the state has a support obligation schedule and calculator that can help you determine how much each of you will need to contribute to ensure your children have everything they need moving forward.

There are a few questions people need answered when figuring out child support. First, which parent has to pay? Second, what does support cover? Third, how long will the order last? Finally, fourth, what if the payor can’t or won’t pay, or the payee feels the order is insufficient?

Who has to pay?

Technically, both parents have the responsibility of providing for their children. However, it is the parent who is the noncustodial holder who generally has to make payments to the primary custody holder. How much that individual has to pay will depend on a number of factors but is primarily determined by looking at both parties’ respective net incomes.

What does support cover?

The purpose of child support is to meet a child’s most basic needs. It generally covers all or a portion of the following:

  • Child care costs
  • Health care coverage
  • Housing
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Transportation

Of course, it can cover a lot more, such as:

  • Extracurricular activities
  • School expenses
  • Summer camps
  • Counseling
  • Any extra legitimate expense

Every family is different, and the support order can address specific needs.

How long will the support order last?

A support order usually lasts until a child reaches the age of 18 and has graduated high school. Extending an order is a possibility if there is a good reason to continue covering a child’s expenses. Early cancellation of the order may also be an option in some cases.

What if the payor can’t or won’t pay, or the order is insufficient?

If you cannot afford to meet your child support obligation, by filing a modification petition in court you can seek a temporary or permanent modification to the amount. If you feel the order is not enough, you can do the same. If you find the payor not paying, there are several enforcement options out there that may work in your situation.

Fight for the best interests of your child

All you want is to take care of your children and make sure they have what they need. Achieving a fair child support order is one way you can do that, but reaching that may take some work. With assistance, you can fight for the best interest of your child and end up with a support order that truly fits their needs.