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Child Support Obligations

Child support obligations are determined by the courts using guidelines set out in state law. When a child’s parents are separated, divorced or unmarried, the guidelines help ensure both parents are sharing the cost to support their child. The child support obligation is set by looking at the combined monthly net incomes of both parents. The amount a person paying support must pay is based on their proportionate share.

When a person paying support’s monthly net income falls within the low income areas of the guidelines, the child support amount is compared to their proportionate share using both parent’s monthly net incomes. Whichever amount is lower becomes the child support obligation.

The court may also split the costs for child care and health care coverage (i.e. medical, optometric, dental or orthodontic, or counseling costs) between the parents. These guidelines are believe to be appropriate unless either can show a change is necessary.

The child support guidelines are found in South Dakota Codified Law Chapter 25-7. To determine the child support payment based on the combined monthly net income of both parents and the number of children, you may use this online Child Support Obligation Schedule.

Child Support Obligation Worksheet

In situations where one parent has primary physical custody, the child support obligation worksheet calculates the basic child support a person may be ordered to pay under South Dakota Guidelines.

In numerous situations the parents of two or more children may agree and/or the cour may order a split custody arrangement where one parent will be the primary physical custodian of one or more children and the other parent will be the primary custodial parent of the other child(ren).

To calculate the child support obligation based on a split custody arrangement, calculate each parent's support obligation for the child(ren) in the other parent's physical custody. The support obligations are then compared to determine a monthly child support obligation. Example: Parent A’s child support obligation is calculated to be $400 per month. Parent B’s child support obligation is calculated to be $600 per month. Parent B would be the parent paying support in the amount of $200 per month ($600 - $400 = $200).

Shared Parenting Plan Cross Credit Child Support Obligation Worksheet

If a custody order by the court contains a detailed shared parenting plan which provides that the child(ren) will reside no less than 180 nights per calendar year in each parent's home, and that the parents will share the duties and responsibilities of parenting the child and the expenses of the child(ren) in proportion to their incomes, the court may, if deemed appropriate under the circumstances, grant a cross credit on the amount of the child support obligation based on the number of nights the child(ren) resides with each parent.

In deciding whether a shared parenting child support cross-credit is appropriate, the court considers whether it would have a substantial negative effect on the child's standard of living.

For parents who have a shared parenting plan, you may download the Shared Parenting Child Support Obligation Worksheet to calculate the child support obligation. The Division of Child Support does not calculate shared parenting child support obligations.