Chapter 262

SCR 22-09

SUPREME COURT RULES AND ORDERS

IN THE SUPREME COURT

OF THE

STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA

* * * *

IN THE MATTER OF THE ADOPTION OF A RULE REQUIRING COURT-APPROVED PARENTING EDUCATION FOR ACTIONS INVOLVING ISSUES OF CHILD CUSTODY OR VISITATION

RULE 22-09

A hearing was held on February 15, 2022, at Pierre, South Dakota, relating to requiring court-approved parenting education for actions involving issues of child custody or visitation and the Court having considered the proposed adoption, oral presentation relating thereto and being fully advised in the premises, now, therefore, it is

ORDERED that the adoption of a new rule requiring court-approved parenting education for actions involving issues of child custody or visitation be and it is hereby adopted to read in its entirety as follows:

Court-approved parenting education for actions involving issues of child custody or visitation.

The parties to any action which involves the issues of child custody or parenting time will be required to participate in a court-approved course to educate the parties concerning the impact of the action on the child or children. The course shall be completed within sixty days of the service of the summons and complaint, petition or motion in any action involving child custody or parenting time. Participation in the course may only be waived or delayed by the judge presiding over the action for good cause shown. Good cause includes but is not limited to a default by one of the parties or a showing that the parties have previously participated in a court-approved course or its equivalent within the past five years.

Participation in the course is not required for a protection order proceeding or if the proceeding involves termination of parental rights of any of the parties. A final decree shall not be granted or a final order shall not be entered until both parties have complied with this requirement, unless participation in the course is waived or delayed for good cause or is otherwise not required. Each party shall be responsible for arranging their participation in the course and for payment of the costs of participation in the course.

Each party shall submit certification of completion of the course to the court prior to the granting of a final decree or the entry of an order, unless participation in the course is waived or delayed for good cause or is otherwise not required as set forth herein. If participation in the court-approved course is waived or delayed for good cause or is otherwise not required under this section, the judge presiding over the action may order that the parties receive the information in an alternative format.

The State Court Administrator’s Office shall certify approved courses for parties required to participate in a course. Approved courses may include those provided by a public or private entity. At a minimum and as appropriate, an approved course shall include information related to the effects of separation or divorce on children, co-parenting skills and responsibilities, children's needs and coping techniques, the options for conflict resolution for parenting time and custodial disputes and the financial responsibilities of parents.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this rule become effective September 1, 2022.

DATED at Pierre, South Dakota, this 28th day of February, 2022.

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Catchlines are not law. (§ 2-16-13.1) Underscores indicate new language.

Overstrikes indicate deleted language.