Sioux Falls Contested Divorce Attorneys: Compassionate & Dedicated Legal Representation.
Contested divorces can lead to significant animosity between spouses who often end up in courtroom battles. Since an already emotional situation can easily escalate into increased contention and stress, it is wise to seek legal counsel as soon as possible if you are contemplating a
divorce. A trusted source who thoroughly understands the laws and procedures relating to divorce issues can help you avoid or reduce such conflict. At the very least, should conflict be unavoidable, you will know that your legal rights and best interests will be protected throughout the divorce process.
At Ver Beek Law, Prof. L.L.C., you can turn to a Sioux Falls contested family law attorneys who will work diligently to ensure that you fully understand the issues, how courts decide them, and the implications of any choices or agreements you make. Our firm is extremely experienced in practicing
family law, which gives us a focused viewpoint on your behalf. We are here to get you through the contested divorce process with as little stress and emotional upheaval as possible while we aggressively fight for what is optimum for you and your children.
Contested divorces are those in which the two parties cannot come to a mutual agreement concerning issues such as:
Every family is unique and each couple has their own specific circumstances which will influence the process. Complicating issues can include high net worth families, parties who own businesses, allegations of marital misconduct, and more.
If you are involved in a complicated and/or contentious divorce, you should turn to our Sioux Falls contested divorce attorneys to explore your options. With our legal advice and guidance, you will have a better grasp of the situation and be more in control. Whether representing you inside or outside the courtroom, we will apply all of our skills and resources to help you reach a fair and just resolution.
Sioux Falls Uncontested Divorce: Providing Family Law Clients with Compassion & Guidance
An uncontested divorce is one in which the two parties have come to a mutual agreement concerning the dissolution of their marriage and its related issues. Uncontested divorces proceed much faster due to the fact that the case is not taken to court.
divorces tend to be less expensive, less time-consuming, and less stressful for all involved. An uncontested divorce still must be done according to South Dakota law which involves extensive legal paperwork.
If you and your spouse have come to an agreement concerning all of the issues related to your divorce, our Sioux Falls uncontested family law attorneys can oversee the legal process through the courts for approval. Ver Beek Law, Prof. L.L.C. is a dedicated family law office, and our sole function is to provide comprehensive legal services for all matters pertaining to divorce. Due to our small size and single focus, we offer close interaction with all of our clients in a highly personalized setting.
Requirements to Complete an Uncontested Divorce:
As South Dakota is a no-fault divorce state, generally, an uncontested divorce can be based on irreconcilable differences. This means that the marriage is irretrievably broken and beyond repair. Other fault grounds may also be used in the filing, such as adultery, willful neglect, cruelty, habitual intemperance (alcohol abuse), or abandonment.
To proceed with an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse must have agreed on such issues as:
You must be a resident of South Dakota to initiate the divorce proceedings. There is no minimum time limit as to how long you have lived in the state.
Our Sioux Falls uncontested divorce attorneys can provide the legal advice you need regarding your divorce and ensure that the process is accurately completed and submitted according to South Dakota law.
Sioux Falls Child Custody Attorneys: Representing the Best Interests of You & Your Child
Whether you are going through a
divorce or you are in an unmarried relationship with a child, one of the most challenging issues can be assigning custody of children. It is always best if you and your child's other parent can come to an agreement concerning this matter to avoid the stress and strife of a trial. If the parties are able to reach an agreement regarding custody (or other issues), the agreement can be submitted to the judge for approval. Once the agreement has been adopted by an order of the court, it becomes binding and enforceable. If you and the other parent cannot agree on the matter, however, the court will make the decision based on evidence presented at hearings.
Regardless of where you may be in the process of determining this issue, it is advantageous to have trusted legal counsel. Having the legal advice and support of a professional can go a long ways towards easing the tension and anxiety that will likely occur. You can turn to Ver Beek Law, Prof. L.L.C. for responsive and skilled legal support. Our Sioux Falls child custody lawyers will ensure that you fully understand the issues at hand, help you negotiate a fair agreement, and aggressively represent you in court should that be appropriate.
Types of Child Custody in South Dakota:
How Is Child Custody Decided in South Dakota?:
South Dakota courts make a determination on child custody based on the standard of what is in the best interests of the child. Generally, joint custody is preferred so as to maintain a continuing relationship with both parents. The child's own wishes regarding custody may be recognized by the court when the child reaches a particular age. Preferential consideration is not given to mothers simply because of their sex — both parents are considered equally.
Courts will make custody and visitation decisions based on many factors. Common factors influencing child custody decisions include:
Legal vs. Physical Custody
Legal custody is when a parent has the right to make important life decisions on behalf of the child. These decisions would include education, extracurricular activities, religious activities, medical choices, etc.
Physical custody is when a parent is responsible for the physical care of the child, such as where the child will live.
Sole vs. Joint Custody
Sole custody is when only one parent is given custody. A parent can have sole legal custody, sole physical custody, or both.
Joint custody is when both parents must share the rights and responsibilities that come along with having custody. Parents can have joint legal custody, joint physical custody, or both.
Once custody and visitation arrangements have become an order of the court, they are deemed enforceable. Child custody and
parenting time have the ability to be modified by the court. Parents must petition the court for modifications.
South Dakota Custody Laws - Unmarried Parents:
For unmarried parents, the mother has sole custody of the child unless the matter is brought before the court and paternity is established. It is possible for the father of the child to be granted custody if the court finds it would be in the child's best interests.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Modify a Child Custody or Visitation Order?
While it is possible to represent yourself in petitions to modify a child custody or visitation order, our Sioux Falls custody lawyers can guide you through the process and make sure you prepare the petition according to South Dakota laws.
The physical and mental health conditions of both parents
Who has been the child’s primary caretaker during the marriage
How the child’s school and community relationships will be affected
How the child’s relationships with other household members will be affected
Evidence of any parental abuse or extreme discipline
Evidence of any parental substance abuse
Sioux Falls Child Support Lawyers: Compassion & Guidance for You & Your Child
Are you in the middle of a child support dispute? Perhaps you are wondering how the court will decide the issue if you and your spouse disagree. Or, you may wish to challenge what the court will propose. Whatever your concerns may be pertaining to the issue of child support, it is best to have a trusted legal advisor in your corner to help you seek a child support order that is best for you and your child.
At Ver Beek Law, Prof. L.L.C., we offer focused legal support that is geared towards helping you make the best possible decisions based on a full understanding of your situation. Our practice is devoted to
family law, which means you can be confident that our knowledge and skills are based on daily experience in this field. Our Sioux Falls child support attorney’s approach is to provide the care and personal attention you need to help ease the way through the legal process.
Child Support in South Dakota:
Typically, non-custodial parents are responsible for making child support payments. These payments are to ensure that the child’s needs are met by both parents and not just by the parent with whom the child mainly resides. Child support payments must continue until the child turns 18 or graduates from high school.
Child support payments are calculated according to state guidelines. Generally, these payments are based on income and the amount of time spent with the child. Medical costs for the child will also affect the amount ordered. Courts can adjust the amount higher or lower depending on what is determined to be needed.
The income that is reviewed for the purposes of child support payments includes:
Before a child support order is finalized by the court, you can ask for the amount to be adjusted by presenting evidence to the court justifying your request. After it has been finalized, you may ask to modify the amount if you can provide proof of a substantial change in circumstances. Ver Beek Law, Prof. L.L.C. can assist you with any needs you have concerning arranging, enforcing, challenging, or modifying your child support order.
Business profits or losses
Sioux Falls Modifications Lawyers: Helping You Modify Child Custody or Support Orders
Have time and circumstances made your
child custody or
child support order unworkable? Since these are legally binding orders, they cannot be changed without the approval of the court. You will have to present evidence that justifies any modifications. Doing so can be complicated, and you should not attempt to handle court hearings without the representation of a trusted attorney.
At Ver Beek Law, Prof. L.L.C., we deal with these kinds of issues every day. Our Sioux Falls modifications attorney has the knowledge and skills you need to seek the modification you wish to make. We can carefully review your situation with you so that you fully understand what is required and what to expect. We will prepare your case with thoroughness to give you the best chance at obtaining the changes that are necessary. While we cannot promise success, we will always apply all of our legal skills in seeking to achieve your objective.
How Are Family Court Orders Modified?:
Modifications to child custody orders may occur for various reasons and can include:
If you and your spouse agree to the modification, you can submit it to the court. The court may approve the change if it believes it is in the best interests of the child. If you and your spouse do not agree, you will have to appear before the court stating your case. If you are the petitioning spouse, the burden of proof will rest with you that the modification is necessary and will benefit your child.
Child Support Modifications:
Modifications to child support orders can also be requested through the courts. The parent requesting the change will have to demonstrate a substantial change in his or her financial condition or it may be modified due to a change in custody.
Whatever type of modification you seek, Ver Beek Law, Prof. L.L.C. offers guidance and legal assistance to help you move forward with your request.
A change in the needs and schedules of children as they mature
A change in the parents’ work schedules
A parent begins a new job
A parent wishes to relocate due to remarriage, employment changes, or other substantial reasons
A drastic change in the health of a parent or a child
About Parenting Time in South Dakota: Sioux Falls Child Custody Attorneys Helping Families Before, During & After Divorce
Parenting time refers to the time spent with children by parents who no longer reside together. South Dakota courts will consider evidence presented by both parties and will make a determination regarding parenting time based on the best interests of the child/children involved. When parents live apart, it is their responsibility to come up with a detailed agreement concerning scheduled parenting time in both homes. When parents cannot agree, they become subject to mandatory South Dakota visitation guidelines.
If you need legal help in negotiating a parenting plan, our Sioux Falls child custody lawyers offers insightful and capable assistance. At Ver Beek Law, Prof. L.L.C, we are in the business of helping families navigate the often rocky waters of divorce and child custody. We know how difficult this can be and make every effort to help you reach rational decisions based on what is best for your child. We also know what courts look for in such issues and how to present your plan in the best possible light.
South Dakota Guidelines for Parenting Plans:
Detailed parenting plans must be part of the custody order. Should your parenting plan become a matter for a family court judge, he or she will determine the plan that best fits the needs of your child based on state guidelines.
South Dakota child visitation guidelinesinclude detailed instructions for such matters as:
Our Sioux Falls child custody lawyers can help to ensure that your plan meets the needs of your child and follows South Dakota visitation guidelines where applicable. Should your parenting plan become disputed in court, we will work vigorously on your behalf to help resolve the matter with as little stress as possible.
Communication with children
Adjustments in the plan due to emergencies, illnesses, or commitments
Vacation time with children
Missed time with children
Special considerations for adolescents
Weekends, holidays and summer
Noncustodial time with children under five
South Dakota Adoption Lawyer: Helping Create New Families
Adoption is a major life-changing decision for prospective parents and the children they wish to adopt. It is also a lengthy legal process which involves step-by-step requirements. If you are ready to adopt, it is best that you retain the services of our Sioux Falls adoption attorneys at Ver Beek Law, Prof. L.L.C.
Our firm has a concentrated effort on
family law issues so that we can better serve our clients. As a small firm, we take the time to get to know the people who need our help through close personal interaction. When you come to us, you will receive one-on-one attention from our adoption attorneys. We are always available and strive to meet your needs with excellent support and service.
South Dakota Adoptions:
Many types of adoption exist which bring parents and children together. An adult may adopt any child who is at least 10 years younger. Adults may also adopt other adults who wish to be adopted.
Adoptions can include the following:
As a prospective adoptive parent, you must have the consent of your spouse. If you wish to adopt a child who is 13 years old or older, the child also must consent to the adoption. The child must live in your home for six months before the adoption can be finalized.
Prior to this, other steps will be taken such as the submission of the adoption petition, a home study, and court hearings concerning your fitness as a parent and what the court deems to be in the best interests of the child. The proceedings can take time and require detailed preparation. Thus, it is highly recommended that you have strong legal representation during the adoption process.
Adoptions by family relatives
Adoptions by foster parents
Sioux Falls Alimony Attorneys: Providing Dedicated & Personalized Legal Support
Alimony, also known as spousal support or maintenance, can be a contentious and sometimes complicated subject for divorcing couples. If you require advice and legal representation concerning your proposed need for, or defense against, alimony payments, Ver Beek Law, Prof. L.L.C. can help. Our Sioux Falls alimony lawyers can review your situation, advise you on how South Dakota courts decide the issue, and help prepare your case should it be necessary to go before a family law judge.
divorce firm focuses primarily on
family law matters. Due to this, we have developed a thorough understanding and skill set in seeking what is fair and right for our clients. We will take the time to ensure that you fully understand the issue at hand and that we prepare your case with the utmost care. At Ver Beek Law, Prof. L.L.C., our priority is to help you succeed in meeting your legal objectives with as little stress as possible.
The Determination of Alimony in a South Dakota Divorce:
The purpose of spousal support is to ensure that the supported spouse is able to maintain the standard of living that was enjoyed during the marriage. Courts may order the payments to be made for a specific time period or indefinitely. They may be made in monthly payments or as a lump sum.
Generally, South Dakota recognizes three different types of alimony:
No set formula has been devised by the state to calculate alimony. Courts will look at various factors specific to the case in its determination. These factors include the length of the marriage, the standard of living established during the marriage, the ages and health conditions of the spouses, as well as their current incomes, debts, and assets. Also important is whether one spouse provided care of the children in lieu of employment, both spouses’ earning potentials, how the marital property was distributed, and any other relevant factor.
At Ver Beek Law, Prof. L.L.C. we are ready to apply our legal insight and support to your situation. We look forward to welcoming you into our family of clients.
Permanent: which is paid indefinitely until a change in circumstances occurs for the supported spouse, such as a remarriage.
Rehabilitative: which is paid only until the supported spouse has become skilled enough to work and become sufficiently self-supporting. This is often the case for mothers who stayed at home to care for children.
Restitutional: which is paid only until the supported spouse completes his or her education or training.
Sioux Falls Conservatorship Attorneys: Protecting the Interests of Vulnerable Individuals
Sometimes the elderly, disabled, or impaired require help making decisions and managing their finances. Conservatorship is designed for individuals who need someone to manage their affairs. At Ver Beek Law, our Sioux Falls conservatorship lawyers provide assistance with conservatorship proceedings, guidance to those named as conservators, and help clients use incapacity planning to avoid conservatorship in the future.
Understanding the law is important when seeking guardianship or conservatorship in South Dakota. The rules, requirements, and procedures for conservatorship are set forth in the South Dakota Guardianship and Conservatorship Act. Our attorneys have extensive knowledge of this law and can guide you through the process as well as advocate on your behalf.
Reasons for Conservatorship:
The main reason for a conservatorship is an individual’s inability to manage their affairs. This could be due to a serious injury, illness, disability, or other impairment. The conservator of the protected person uses the income and principal of the estate to provide for the individual’s support, care, health, and therapeutic needs.
According to South Dakota law, a conservator may be appointed for an individual who is:
impaired to such an extent that he or she lacks the capacity to manage property or finances;
unable to support legal dependents without the assistance of a conservator;
absentee and financial affairs require attention and supervision; and/or
a minor and meets the other requirements for need.
How Conservatorship Works in South Dakota:
If someone in your life becomes incapacitated and requires help managing their affairs, we can help you take the first step by initiating conservatorship proceedings. The court will appoint a conservator to make decisions and act on the behalf of the incapacitated person. The person appointed as conservator has a fiduciary responsibility to the impaired person.
The conservator is responsible for making financial decisions, such as:
When there is an immediate need, the court may appoint a temporary conservator to act on behalf of the impaired person. Conservatorships are valid for 90 days, unless extended. This can give time for the court to appoint a permanent guardian.
The conservator should only act as necessary for the protected person but should also include the individual in the decision-making process, whenever possible and feasible. In addition, the conservator is required by law to act in the best interests of the protected person, exercise reasonable care, and diligence in his or her role. After the naming of a conservator, the court remains involved in an oversight capacity to ensure that the conservator is making the best decisions for the impaired person and not seeking to enrich themselves.
A Team Approach to Quality Legal Representation:
The Sioux Falls conservatorship attorneys and legal staff at Ver Beek Law are all a team. Each case is important to us and we use a team approach to ensure that we meet the needs of our clients.
taking care of real estate;
managing bank accounts;
paying bills; and/or
Grandparent Rights Attorneys in Sioux Falls: Helping Foster Relationships Between Grandparents & Grandchildren
Most people would agree that grandparents play an important role in the life of a child and have a positive impact on the child’s life. However, grandparents don’t have the same legal privileges to
custody and visitation as parents. At Ver Beek Law, our Sioux Falls grandparents’ rights lawyers can evaluate your situation and explain the rights you may have under South Dakota law.
When parents cut off visitation between their children and a grandparent, the court considers several factors in determining whether to award visitation time. In some situations, the court determines that regular visitation is in the best interests of the child. However, in other situations, the court may find that visitation would be detrimental to the relationship between the parents and the child.
Grandparent Visitation Rights in South Dakota:
In South Dakota, grandparents do have some legal protections. However, the rights of the grandparent are always secondary to the parent’s rights. There is no guarantee that a judge will award regular visits.
South Dakota grandparents visitation law allows visitation when it:
The best interests of the child is an important factor in making decisions about awarding visitation. This is the standard used by South Dakota courts in making all custody and visitation decisions. Our grandparent’s rights attorneys in Sioux Falls work to build a strong case to show that visitation serves the best interests of the child and fosters a strong relationship between the child and their grandparents.
Fighting for Custody of a Grandchild:
A court may grant
custody to a grandparent in limited situations. The court will not award you custody of your grandchildren, just because you believe you would do a better job or have more resources. Birth parents have the right to raise their own children, unless there is reasonable proof the parents are unfit to do so. In that case, it may be possible for the court to award custody to the grandparent.
In order to seek custody, a grandparent must prove that:
serves the best interests of the child;
won’t interfere with the relationship of the parent and child; and/or
shows that the parents have not allowed reasonable visitation.
Discuss Your Case with an Attorney:
Because this area of law can be complex and outcomes depend so much on the specifics of the individual situation, it is best to get advice from an attorney who is aware of the specifics of your case. Our Sioux Falls grandparent rights lawyers will always give an honest opinion to our clients.
the parents abandoned their responsibilities;
there is proof parental negligence;
a parent forfeited parental rights to someone other than the child’s other parent; and/or
parental custody is harmful to the child in another way.
Sioux Falls Guardianship Lawyers: Protecting the Child’s Best Interests
In most situations, the court will appoint a guardian for minors whose parents have passed or are unable to provide adequate care. In other cases, a court may appoint a guardian for an adult with mental disabilities. The Sioux Falls guardianship attorneys at Ver Beek Law help our clients establish guardianship.
The court gives authority to a guardian to act on behalf of the protected person, or the person in need of a guardian. This authority is generally over making personal and healthcare decisions for the protected person. The extent may vary, and the court may decide to give the protected person the right to make certain decisions when the person has the capacity to do so.
How Courts Establish Guardianship:
When an individual lacks the capacity to meet his or her own personal care, health, and safety needs without assistance the court may appoint a guardian.
A court may set up a guardianship for:
The court selects a person as guardian who will act in the best interests of the ward. A guardian is often chosen for minor children when parents create an estate plan. If there is no provision for guardianship in an estate plan, it is up to the court to appoint one.
The Process for Appointing a Guardian:
The first step in becoming the legal guardian of another person is to file a petition with the court. The petition must explain the need for the guardianship and certain documentation must be submitted, including an evaluation from a doctor or psychiatrist and a financial statement of the protected person’s resources.
Once the court accepts the petition, they review the document and decide whether the party seeking guardianship is capable of the responsibility. The person may have legal representation and has the right to contest the guardianship or the appointment of a specific guardian. Our Sioux Falls guardianship lawyers can guide you through the process and ensure the meeting of all legal requirements.
Get Advice from a Guardianship Attorney:
If you are interested in becoming a guardian, you need an experienced lawyer to help you navigate the process. Our guardianship attorneys in Sioux Falls understand that the process can be confusing and overwhelming. We educate our clients every step of the way, explain the legal process, and work with you to achieve your goals.
a child in an abusive home;
an inheritance left in the name of a minor;
a disabled person over the age of 18; or
a sick, injured, or elderly person unable to manage his or her affairs.