South DakotaChild Visitation Laws
South Dakota Child Custody Guide :: Table of Contents
What is child visitation?In the context of a child custody case, visitation is defined as the rights for a non-custodial parent to see their child, or as temporary custody that's been granted for a period of time to an otherwise non-custodial parent or relative.
In general, courts in South Dakota assume that it is beneficial for both biological parents of a child to have shared custody or visitation, unless it is shown to be against the child's best interests. A biological parent who is denied custody may be awarded visitation rights to provide for a relationship between the parent and child.
Visitation by grandparents, family members, or other third-parties is less clear cut in South Dakota, and nationwide. While there are state guidelines regarding third-party visitation in certain situations, these laws are frequently challenged.
Above all else, courts in South Dakota strive to make custody and visitation decisions that are "in the best interests of the child". The court handling each individual visitation case has significant flexibility in determining what arrangement is in the child's best interests. You can read about South Dakota's visitation guildelines on this page.
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The court will decide a request for visitation based on whether granting a parent visitation would be in the "best interests of the child" which consists of: What is considered in a child's "best interests" are outlined under the custody and visitation statute which indicate the following factors are relevant to this type of decision: the emotional ties between the child and other family members; the interest of the parties in and attitude toward the child; the desirability of continuing an existing relationship; any prior domestic violence or abuse. caregiver preference and cooperation between the parents.
A court may grant visitation to a grandparent, if one parent is deceased, or the parents are divorced or separated and visitation is in the best interest of the child.
In the state of South Dakota, there are a number of laws regarding child visitation regarding visitation for third-parties other than the biological parents of the child. While state laws regarding third-party visitation have been frequently been challenged in courts, they are a good indication of South Dakota's positions regarding non-parental visitation rights.
Visitation Rights Of Grandparents In South Dakota:
South Dakota has special statutes regarding the child visitiation rights of grandparents under different circumstances. Under state law, the grandparents of children may obtain visitation while the parents are alive, regardless of the parent's marital status.
Regardless of state presumptions regarding grandparent's visitation rights under specific circumstances, a South Dakota court may allow or prevent visitation rights in any situation based on the best interests of the child.
Visitation Rights Of Other Parties In South Dakota:
Are step-parents granted visitation rights in the state of South Dakota?
Generally it is an uphill battle for step-parents seeking visitation rights for a step-child, especially if the biological parents of the child are alive and are opposed to the visitation.
The state of South Dakota does not have any laws that grant child visitation rights to step-parents, which may make applying for visitation significantly harder. In all cases, third-party visitation rights are more likely to be granted by the court if they are deemed to be in the best interests of the child.
Can other interested parties or relatives be granted visitation rights to a child in South Dakota?
Under state of South Dakota law, it is not generally possible for any other interested party other than those specified to be granted child visitation rights. In rare cases this may be overruled by the court.
Can parents be granted visitation rights after termination of parental rights or adoption in South Dakota?
In the state of South Dakota it may not be possible to be granted visitation rights after losing parental rights or giving up a child for adoption. This is the case with both biological parents and previous guardians.