South Dakota South Dakota

Child Support Laws

What Is Child Support?

Child support is an ongoing payment by a non-custodial parent to assist with the financial support of their children. Child support payments are often determined during the process of dissolution of a marriage through divorce, though the only requirements for requesting child support payments are establishment of paternity and maternity.

Child support is handled on a state level, and South Dakota has a set of specific child support guidelines. On this page you can learn about how child support is calculated in South Dakota, how custody split and extraordinary costs affect child support payments, and more.

South Dakota Child Support Law Summary

South Dakota uses the "income share" method for calculating child support payments, which is designed to ensure that both the custodial and non-custodial parents contribute to their child's upkeep.

South Dakota's child support formula directly accounts for parents who share custody of a child, and support payment amounts are connected to the custody split. Other special situations accounted for under South Dakota's child support law include extraordinary medical costs and college costs. These costs may be additions to the basic South Dakota child support order.

If the obligation using the noncustodial parent's monthly net income is within the schedule, that amount will be compared to the noncustodial parent's proportionate share using both parents' monthly net incomes.

The noncustodial parent's proportionate share establishes the amount of the child support order.

The child support obligation shall be established in accordance with the following schedule subject to revisions/deviations as permitted.

South Dakota Child Support Calculation Formula Methods

Child support can be arranged out of court by a mutual support agreement between the parents, or can be decided in South Dakota family court through a child support order. In South Dakota, a number of factors are taken into account when determining the amount of child support to be paid in court. Here is an explanation of the two most common methods used to calculate basic child support amounts.

Income Share Method

Under the income share model, the court uses economic tables to estimate the total monthly cost of raising the children. The non-custodial parent pays a percentage of the calculated cost that is based on their proportional share of both parents' combined income.

Example: The non-custodial parent of one child has an income of $2,000 per month, and the custodial parent has an income of $1,000 per month. The court estimates that the cost of raising one child is $1,000 a month. The non-custodial parent's income is 66.6% of the parent's total combined income. Therefore, the non-custodial parent pays $666 per month in child support, or 66.6% of the total child support obligation.

South Dakota does use the income share method to calculate child support

Percentage Of Income Method

This method of calculating child support is simple - a set percentage of the non-custodial parent's income is paid monthly to the custodial parent to cover basic child support expenses. The percentage paid may stay the same, or vary if the non-custodial parent's income changes.

Example: The non-custodial parent of one child has an income of $2,000 per month. The court orders a flat percentage of 25% of the non-custodial parent's income to be paid in child support to the custodial parent. Therefore, the non-custodial parent pays $500 per month in child support. If the non-custodial parent's monthly income changes, the dollar amount they pay in child support will change as well.

South Dakota does not use the percentage of income method to calculate child support

South Dakota Child Support Frequently Asked Questions

How does having shared custody of the child affect child support in South Dakota?

All states have a method of modifying the amount of child support owed in cases where the custody agreement provides for joint or shared custody of a child between both parents.

South Dakota law accounts for shared custody of a child directly in the child support formula used to calculate payment amounts. This means that, in cases where custody is shared, the amount of child support paid by the paying parent will be reduced according to the amount of time they have custody of the child.

How are extraordinary medical costs treated by child support in South Dakota?

South Dakota has specialized guidelines for the sharing of a child's extraordinary medical care costs that are separate from, and in addition to, basic child support payments. Extraordinary medical costs are generally costs generated by things such as illness, hospital visits, or costly procedures such as getting braces.

South Dakota treats extraordinary medical care costs as a "deviation factor", which means that the judge determining the amount of child support to be paid may take ongoing medical care costs into account when calculating the monthly amount to be paid. This means that in situations where the custodial parent needs to pay child care costs, the judge may raise the child support payments in order to help cover them.

How are child care costs treated by child support in South Dakota?

Unlike most states, South Dakota has no special provisions for child care costs in their child support guidelines. The costs of child care and lumped in to other costs of providing for the child when child support calculations are being made.

Does child support cover college education expenses in South Dakota?

South Dakota state law does allow courts to order the non-custodial parent to contribute to their child's college education upon graduating high school. Whether post-secondary education support is ordered, and the amount that may be ordered, varies depending on the situation.

How is child support enforced in South Dakota?

In the state of South Dakota, child support is enforced by the state child support agency. The state agency handles the location of non-custodial parents, enforcement of support orders, and the handling of unpaid child support arrears.

What are child support arrears?

Child support arrears are the amount of child support that is delinquent, or unpaid, by the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent. Child support arrears may be collected by the state through wage garnishment, bank levy. withholding of South Dakota welfare benefits, or other collection methods.

How are child support payments taxed in South Dakota?

Under IRS guidelines, the recepient of child support does not need to pay federal tax on child support payments, and the payer of child support cannot deduct their child support payments. This differs from the federal taxation of alimony payments, which are treated as taxable income by the receiver and are deductible by the payor. South Dakota tax law may vary on tax treatment of child support.

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