General Child Support Information

The Department of Social Services provides helpful information to provide you with an overview of how Child Support works. Please visit their website linked below for information on this topic.

DSS Website:

Modification of South Dakota Child Support Orders

In South Dakota, the Circuit Court is the only entity with authority to modify a child support obligation. This is usually done in response to a petition filed by one of the parents. Either parent or a representative may file a petition to modify their child support order. A support order may be modified without showing any change in circumstances if the order was entered and in effect prior to July 1, 2022.

An order entered and in effect after July 1, 2022 may be modified only:
  1. If it was entered three years or more from the date the petition is filed; or
  2. Upon showing a substantial change in circumstances has occurred since the entry of the order.
More information can be found at the Department of Social Service's Website, along with the forms and instructions necessary to complete the modification – follow this link:

Enforcing my Child Support Order

Parents who need to enforce child support orders or collect overdue payments due to a violation of a child support order are encouraged to contact their local DSS office to explore available options. Options may include imposing penalties or seizing assets to help collect overdue child support.

Help for Resolving Disputes with Parenting Time

Mediation – A process to help parents resolve disputes cooperatively. Mediation is confidential. The parents meet with the mediator outside of court. The mediator does not give the parents legal advice, nor do they tell them what to do or make recommendations to the judge. A mediator assists the parties in reaching an agreement regarding parenting time or custody. The mediator does not make decisions themselves. Once the parties agree, the mediated agreement does not become a court order until it is approved by a judge. Mediators can also be used to help the parties with things like calendaring their parenting time a year in advance. A list of mediators can be found on this site.

Parenting Coordinators – A non-confidential, child-focused dispute resolution process. A mental health or legal professional with mediation training or experience assists high conflict parents by facilitating resolution of their disputes in a timely manner, educating parents about children’s needs, and with the prior approval of the parties and/or the court, making decisions within the scope of the court order or employment contract. The coordinator may make binding decisions even if both parties do not agree. A list of parenting coordinators can be found on this site.

Co-Parenting Tools – There are many apps that can be used by both parents to set up a shared calendar to reflect parenting time with each parent, the children’s activities and appointments, holidays, vacations, etc. Organizing the calendar several months in advance can reduce conflict as both parents can plan his/her future parenting time. Some apps also provide for communications between parents. (Some examples include: WeParent, Cozi, FamCal, OurFamilyWizard, CoParently, Custody Connection, Parentship, 2Houses). There is generally a fee involved and it is recommended that the parents share this fee.

Parenting Therapy – Joint parental therapy intended to increase positive coordination by parents and reduce conflicts.

Family Therapy – Treatment provided when two or more members of the family need treatment to normalize and stabilize functioning.

Therapeutic Intervention – Treatment and case management often used in therapeutically complex cases or in reunification cases where intervention focuses on supporting the renewal of a relationship between a parent and a children.

Therapeutic Supervision – Supervision of parent-child contacts provided by a therapist.

Useful Links