Does South Dakota have Jurisdiction for your divorce?

The plaintiff in an action for divorce must, at the time the action is commenced, be a resident of this state, or be stationed in this state while a member of the armed services, and in order that each party be entitled to the entry of a decree or judgment of divorce, that residence or military presence must be maintained until the decree is entered. The divorce may be filed in the county in which either spouse resides. The defendant has a legal right to have the case transferred to his or her county if desired.

If you have minor children living with your spouse in another state for over six months then you should consider filing in that state as that court has jurisdiction over the children. Your spouse can waive that jurisdiction in writing.


You should file the divorce in the county where you presently reside, or in the County where your spouse resides, if she lives in another County. You or your spouse must have an South Dakota address in the county where you are filing your divorce. South Dakota civilian residents living overseas may file in South Dakota if they have maintained their residency in South Dakota.