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South Dakota

JURISDICTIONAL END OF MARRIAGE DATE: Date of Separation. If not Separated use current date.

STATE TYPE FOR PENSION EVALUATION: South Dakota is an "equitable distribution" state. State statutes now provide for the "equitable" distribution of the marital property of the marriage at the time of the final divorce between the parties. "Marital Property" is defined as all jointly owned property and all other property, other than separate property, acquired by either or both of the parties during the marriage and up to the time of the final separation of the parties. "Separate Property" is property owned by one party at the time of the marriage or inherited property or gifts to one party from a third person and maintained as separate property.

Where "Marital Property" and "Separate Property" are mixed together or where "Separate Property" is increased through the active efforts of either party during the marriage, then such property may be classified as "Part Marital" and "Part Separate" property. In making its equitable distribution awards the courts are not only authorized to make monetary awards to one of the parties, but may also divide or order sold or transfer jointly owned marital property to one of the parties.

The assignment of fault may make a difference in terms of a court's final determination of the division of property. If one party is determined to be at fault for the breakdown of the marriage, then the court may award the other party more property.

[South Dakota Codified Laws; Title 25, Chapters 25-4-44 and 25-4-45.1 and South Dakota Case Law].


S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 25-4-44

When a divorce is granted, the courts may make an equitable division of the property belonging to either or both, whether the title to such property is in the name of the husband or the wife. In making such division of the property, the court shall have regard for equity and the circumstances of the parties.

S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 25-4-45.1

Fault shall not be taken into account with regard to the awarding of property or the awarding of child custody, except as it may be relevant to the acquisition of property during the marriage or to the fitness of either parent in awarding the custody of children.

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