The Division of Child Support or a parent may ask the court to issue a support order. The support order may be part of an interim, temporary, permanent or modified court order in a divorce, paternity action, order for protection, child custody action or separate child support action. The court generally orders the noncustodial parent to provide support for the child who is living with the other parent or another person. The court sets the amount of child support and medical support a parent must provide.
Once a noncustodial parent has been located and if the custodial parent does not have an order for support, the Division of Child Support will serve the noncustodial parent a Notice of Support Debt advising the person of his or her duty to support the child(ren). The noncustodial parent must respond to the notice and provide a financial statement. If the person does not contest the amount of support, orders can be obtained within 30 to 60 days after the noncustodial parent is served. If the noncustodial parent does not agree with the amount of support recommended, he or she may request a hearing. It may take 3 to 6 months if a hearing is requested.
The South Dakota Legislature established guidelines which courts must use to determine that an equitable share of parental income and resources are allocated to the child when that child’s parents are separated, divorced or unmarried. The combined 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. The noncustodial parent’s proportionate share establishes the amount of the child support order.
If using only the noncustodial parent’s monthly net income is within the low income obligation areas of the guidelines, the amount must be compared to the noncustodial parent’s proportionate share using both parent’s monthly net incomes. The lesser amount establishes the noncustodial parent’s child support order.
The court may also apportion the costs for child care and health and dental insurance between the parents. These guidelines are presumed appropriate unless either parent presents evidence warranting a deviation.