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  • Writer's pictureVer Beek Law, Prof. L.L.C.

Big Changes to South Dakota's Parenting Guidelines - Effective July 1st, 2022

Updated: Oct 5, 2022

What changes should you be aware of and how do the changes affect you?

As of July 1st, 2022, big changes to South Dakota's Parenting Guidelines are in effect. Notably, you will find the verbiage referencing custodial and noncustodial parents changed to parent providing primary care and residential parent.


These Parenting Guidelines become mandatory as an enforced court order should parents disagree on a parenting plan, however, either parent has the right to object.

Guideline 1 - Children Under Age 5

As noted above, the distinction between custodial and noncustodial parents verbiage is all but removed which means that now the distinction no longer exists as prevalently in the new Guidelines. Previously, the Guidelines only applied when there was a true distinction between custodial and non-custodial parents. These verbiage revisions are trending throughout the United States.

Breastfeeding Children received their own section (Section 1.8) in which requires parents to be sensitive to the special needs of breastfeeding children to maintain their basic sleep, feed and wake cycles.

Terms for overnight allowances for age 0-3 years old and 3-5 years old have been updated. Restrictions on non-custodial parent's use of daycare services are removed, however, non-custodial parents can no longer remove a child from daycare for parenting time.

A new section points out implementing Guidelines over long-distances can be difficult for children under the age of 5 and provides alternative methods to engage in parenting time.

Lastly, there now is a holiday chart including Mother's Day and Father's Day, and the 5-day vacation periods may extend to 7 days depending on the adaptability of the children.

Guideline 2 - For Parents Who Have Children Age 5+ (And Reside No More than 200 Miles Apart)

Weekend time now start and end around school times. This is different than denoted designated weekend start and end times outlined in the previous Guidelines.

If time and distance allow, parenting times include one mid-week overnight designated on Wednesdays. Children can be with each parent for half of summer break and a minimum 30-day advance notice of selected dates are required.

Likewise, each parent receives 2) 7-day vacation with the child with a 30-day advanced notice.

A 3-day notice of cancelled time or intent to not exercise parenting time applies to both parties regardless of custodial status.

Guideline 3 - For Parents Who Have Children Age 5+ (And Reside More than 200 Miles Apart)

Again, start and stop times continue to revolve around school times. Although summer are still spent with the non-primary parent, the primary parent now is allowed one 48-hour period with the child every three weeks at their own expense.

Guideline 4 - General Rules Applicable to All Parents

The custodial parent no longer establishes the basic rules of conduct and discipline for the child.

Any parenting time schedule already in place as of July 1st, 2022 will be continue to be enforced to those existing term, however, a request to change parenting guidelines can occur. Any protection order will prevail over the new parenting guidelines.

The full Parenting Guidelines PDF can be found here:

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.


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