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Grounds for Divorce

To file for a divorce, the plaintiff must provide grounds established by state law. In South Dakota, both fault and no-fault reasons apply. The fault-based grounds are wrongdoings of one of the spouses, which led to a breakdown of the marriage. If the plaintiff files a lawsuit based on one of the fault-based grounds, he/she is obliged to provide the court with undeniable evidence of the fault of his/her spouse. In South Dakota, fault-based grounds for divorce include adultery, a conviction of a felony, willful neglect, willful desertion, alcohol or drug addiction, and extreme cruelty.

No-fault grounds for divorce do not require evidence because none of the spouses is to blame for the separation. To use a no-fault ground, the plaintiff only has to claim that there are "irreconcilable differences" between the parties.

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