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Child Support Obligations

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 obligation.

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 parents' child support obligation.

The court may also apportion 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 presumed appropriate unless either parent presents evidence warranting a deviation.

Orders are established in accordance with the statutory child support guidelines in SDCL 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 basic 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 agree and/or the court orders 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 respective parent's support obligation for the child(ren) in the other parent's physical custody, and the support obligation are offset in determining a monthly child support obligation.

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 shall consider whether it would have a substantial negative effect on the child's standard of living.

If parents have a shared parenting plan, you may download the Shared Parenting Child Support Obligation Worksheet to calculate the child support obligation.