Session Law Chapter 131
The rights and duties of joint legal custodians changed.
FOR AN ACT ENTITLED, An Act to revise certain provisions relating to the rights and duties
of joint legal custodians.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA:
Section 1. That § 25-5-7.1 be amended to read as follows:
25-5-7.1. In any custody dispute between parents, the court may order joint legal custody
so that both parents retain full parental rights and responsibilities with respect to their child and
so that both parents must confer on, and participate in, major decisions affecting the welfare of
the child. In ordering joint legal custody, the court may consider the expressed desires of the
parents and may grant to one party the ultimate responsibility over specific aspects of the child's
welfare or may divide those aspects between the parties based on the best interest of the child.
If it appears to the court to be in the best interest of the child, the court may order, or the parties
may agree, how any such responsibility shall be divided. Such areas of responsibility may
include the child's primary physical residence, child care, education, extracurricular activities,
medical and dental care, religious instruction, the child's use of motor vehicles, and any other
responsibilities which the court finds unique to a particular family or in the best interest of the
Section 2. That chapter 25-5 be amended by adding thereto a NEW SECTION to read as
Each parent sharing joint legal custody of their child shall foster the other parent's
relationship with the child.
Signed March 15, 2011