Common Questions

What is physical custody?
Physical custody is a term often used in child custody orders to define the parent with whom the child lives or spends time. Physical custody can be primary or shared.


What is legal custody?

A parent with legal custody can make decisions about the child’s education, medical care, and religious upbringing. In many states, the Court awards joint legal custody which means that the decision-making is shared by both parents.

What are the South Dakota Parenting Guidelines?

The South Dakota Parenting Guidelines are general rules and a guide for separated or divorced parents and provide suggestions regarding parenting time schedules.

Download a copy of the South Dakota Parenting Guidelines.

What are the Best Interests of Children?

Sioux Falls Attorney, Tom Keller, provides a comprehensive overview of the Best Interest Factors and how they are applied in South Dakota. You can read Mr. Keller’s overview at You can read the SD Supreme Court Opinion which clarified the best interest factors within child custody and are often referred to as the "Fuerstenberg Factors." You may also review the South Dakota Child Custody Factors which are considered by the Court when determining custody and parenting time. 

What is Child Support?

The South Dakota Legislature established guidelines that Courts must use to determine that an equitable share of parental income and resources are allocated to the child when the parents are separated, divorced, or unmarried. The combined monthly net incomes of both parents must be used in determining the obligation and divided proportionally between the parents based on their respective net incomes. The noncustodial parent’s proportionate share establishes the amount of the child support obligation. Child support provides for the basic necessities of the minor child.

How is Child Support calculated?

Child Support is based upon a calculation or worksheet and is established through the Court. Child support can be applicable if one parent has physical custody and if the parties have joint physical custody.  When one parent has primary custody, you can utilize the Online Child Support CalculatorThe Shared Parenting Cross Credit Calculation Worksheet is used to determine Child Support when the parties have joint physical custody. More information on South Dakota Child Support can be found HERE.

How do I start services?

Parents may contact Shanna Moke directly or services may be initiated by the Court or attorneys. Ms. Moke is willing to assist you in coordinating and beginning services.

Where can I get more information?

Please contact Shanna Moke directly at 605-370-4871 or email for information and guidance regarding your specific situation.

Counseling & Mediation

6116 S Lyncrest Ave, Ste 103

Sioux Falls SD  57108

Phone (605) 679-3186

Fax: (866) 729-1532

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