Legal Information: South Dakota


December 21, 2022

What steps do I have to take if I am the custodial parent and I want to relocate out of state with my child?

If a custody order doesn’t say anything about changing the primary residence of your child, the parent that wants to move has to send a written notice to the other parent. This “reasonable written notice” can be done by certified mail or the other parent can admit in writing that they received it (admission of service).  “Reasonable” notice means that it is given at least 45 days before the move or a shorter period of time if it’s reasonable within the circumstances that are causing the move. Proof of this notice has to be filed with the court.1

The relocation notice has to include:

  • city, state, and telephone number of the new residence; 
  • purpose for moving;
  • why moving is in the best interest of the child; and
  • a proposed visitation plan for the non-relocating parent.2

If the other parent doesn’t agree with the move, s/he must request a hearing within 30 days of receiving the notice. The court will then hold a hearing considering the best interest of the child. If no objection to the move is filed, it will be assumed (presumed) that the non-custodial parent consents.3  

No relocation notice has to be given if one of the following is true:

  1. moving will bring your child closer to the other parent; 
  2. the move is within the limits of your child’s current school district;
  3. there is a valid restraining order protecting you or your child from the non-custodial parent; or
  4. in the last 12 months, the non-custodial parent has been convicted of violating a restraining order, criminal assault, child abuse, or another domestic violence crime and the victim was you or your child.3 

Note: The exceptions listed in #3 and #4 do not apply an order establishing parenting time was issued as part of the restraining order, after the restraining order, or after the criminal conviction.

1 SDCL § 25-4A-17
2 SDCL § 25-4A-18
3 SDCL § 25-4A-19
4 SDCL § 25-4A-17

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