Sup po rt Orders :: Child Supp ort https://dss .sd.gov/childsupport/services/modifysup po rto rder.asp
the petition will be returned to th e petition ing party an d th e modification ac tion will not be
referred to the referee.
Referee conducts modi fication heari ng
Th e c ourt appointed ref eree will s en d a notic e of th e modification h earing to both parties by mail
and request the respondent to submit financial and other information to be considered in
es tablish ing th e c h ild s u pp ort oblig ation. The notice will advise the parties of th e time an d plac e
of th e h earing . This u s u ally occ u rs within 3 0 days f rom the date th e petition is filed. This
timeframe may vary depend ing on th e workload of the referee an d th e location of th e hearin g.
Th e h earin g may be held in th e cou nty of the paren t res pon din g to th e p etition or in the cou n ty
wh ere the referee is located . Th e pe tit ione r m u s t appea r at the heari ng in per s on or by
te l epho ne or the re feree may di smi ss t he modificatio n re quest.
The ref eree will des ig nate the loc at ion of the hearin g , typ ic ally a privat e of f ice or loc al
courthouse. Referees may hold hearings by phone if either party lives a long distance from the
hearin g s ite. Distan t parties wh o wish to take part by ph on e mus t make arrang emen ts with th e
referee in advance of the hearing. The referee or the court may assess costs under certain
A t the h earin g , the ref eree will ob tain in f ormation an d testimony f rom the paren t s regardi n g
their financial resources and circumstances in order to determine the child support obligation as
p rovid ed un der t h e ch i ld su pp ort g uid elines an d l aws . T he paren t s sh ould pres ent any iss ues and
evidenc e th ey want th e ref eree to cons ider in s ettin g th e s u pp ort order, i.e. deviation s or
ad dit i o nal fact o rs t hey want co ns i dered i n establi shing th e o b l i g a t i on.
It is not necessary for eith er party to obtain legal counsel for a modification hearing. However,
they may do so if th ey des ire, at th eir own expens e. Pers on s n ot licens ed as attorn eys b y the
Sou th Dakota Bar As soc iation may not represen t th e parties at a modific ation hearin g.
Once a petition is filed with the Clerk of Courts, the parties may not enter into a
voluntary agreement for payment o f child support without the referee’s written
Referee submits a recommended order to th e court
A f t er the modific ation h earing, th e ref eree will p rep are an d file a rep ort an d a rec ommen d ed
order f o r sup port wi th t he Circuit Co urt. Both part i es are sent a copy of t he referee’s rep o rt and
the recommended order, us ually within 6 0 days f rom the date of h earing.
In determin ing the su pport obligation, th e c ombined month ly n et inc omes of both paren ts an d
nu mber of c h ildren mus t be us ed in determining th e obligation and d ivided proportionately
between the parties based on their respective net incomes. The amount of child support to be
paid by th e noncu stodial parent is determined by finding the category on the child support
payment s c h edule c losest to the combin ed mon th ly n et in c omes for both paren ts an d
apportioning that amount between the parents on the basis of their respective incomes.
If the obligation using only the noncustodial parent’s monthly net income is within the bolded
areas of th e s c hedule, that amou nt mu s t be c ompared to th e nonc u s todial parent’s proportionate
share using both parents’ monthly net incomes. The lesser amount establishes the noncustodial
parent's c h ild su pport order.
The referee may also consider deviations provided by the parents and additional iss ues raised by
either party such as child care costs, health insurance coverage, abatements for visitation or
shared parenting and travel costs for shared parenting time.
Child su p port referees are un der th e auth ority of th e Un ified Ju dicial S ystem (UJ S) . If you h ave
iss u es or c onc erns related to the action s of a referee, con tact UJS at (6 0 5 ) 7 7 3 -3 4 7 4 . The
Division of Child Support cannot address issues or concerns related to the actions of a referee.
Filing objections to the referee’s report
Within 1 0 d ays of the referee’s rep o rt a nd reco mmended order, eit her p a rt y may fil e o bj ect i o ns
contesting the recommended child support order. Objections must be in writing and filed with the
Clerk of Cou rts in th e cou nty th at iss u ed th e order being modified. The Circ uit Court may requ ire
a tran s c rip t of th e referee hearing to be f iled with th e written objections .
If objections are filed within 10 days by one of the parties, the other party must have an
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