Breaking up is hard to do. For married couples, divorce can feature lengthy legal proceedings, numerous court appearances, and considerable personal and emotional strain. Disputes over child custody, maintenance and support payments, and all sorts of small yet seemingly important things can arise. One major area of divorce law is the division of property between spouses. Here’s a brief summary of how marital property is divided in South Dakota.
South Dakota Marital Property Laws
South Dakota law requires courts to make an “equitable division of property” during a divorce. This applies to all property owned by a married couple, both joint property and the individual property belonging to each spouse. It doesn’t necessarily mean a 50:50 split either. South Dakota law simply directs courts to divide property based on the entire picture with an eye towards an equitable division accounting for the circumstances of both parties. Often divorcing couples reach an agreement to divide their property and assets, but courts can determine the division on their own as well.
Dividing marital property focuses on fairness and ensuring each spouse is provided for. Accordingly, courts take a dim view when one party fails to disclose assets. After a divorce decree, a party to the divorce can bring a motion alleging that the other side failed to disclose property or assets. Ordinarily, courts will simply divide the omitted assets. When the omission was intentional, however, penalties and damages can be awarded to the party who brought the matter to the court’s attention. Motions for omitted assets must be brought within two years of discovery and three years of the divorce decree (extended to ten years for intentionally omitted assets). It pays not to delay.
|Code Sections||Division of Property Between Spouses 25-4-44; Motions to Divide Omitted Assets, 25-4-75, et seq.|
|Community Property Recognized?||No, South Dakota is not a community property state. Marital property is equitably divided by courts.|
|Dower and Curtesy||No, repealed by statute (25-2-9).|
Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a South Dakota family lawyer or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Related Resources for Marital Property Laws
A divorce can be a trying and difficult time. You can find more information about marriage money and property in general divorce and property specifically in these pages. Using an experienced divorce attorney can help ensure a smoother divorce and the best possible outcome.
Contact a qualified attorney.