South Dakota Rejects No Fault Divorce for An Individual Spouse, Even With Domestic Violence

Since New York finally adopted no fault divorce, it is universal in this nation … at least as long as both spouses are on the same page.

In South Dakota and Mississippi, if only one spouse in a couple wants a divorce, the no fault option is not available.

In South Dakota, this means that a victim of domestic violence who wants a divorce must testify about the abuse in court, in the presence of their abuser who does not want the divorce.

This unconscionable dilemma led a South Dakota legislator to introduce legislation to help victims of domestic violence get a divorce over the objection of their abuser.

The bill failed to muster sufficient votes to pass though. Opponents worried that the legislative proposal would make it easier for any spouse to obtain a divorce, which they view as damaging to South Dakota.