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Child support commission holds public hearing in Sioux Falls

Published: Sep. 29, 2021 at 10:48 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Every four years, a Child Support Commission is formed to review what possible laws may need to change regarding how child support is paid out in South Dakota.

The Child Support Commission will hold a public hearing at the Department of Social Services office in Sioux Falls on Thursday.

The Commission will use data and public input to determine what changes, if any, need to be made to what non-custodial parents need to pay as well as other child support issues.

“There are changes in the federal rules regarding child support that we have to make a part of our child support statute,” said Virgena Wieseler, DSS Division of Children and Family Services Division Chief. “How we look at the income of incarcerated parents, that’s one issue that we’ll be looking at.”

Along with legislators, the Commission is made up of the Department of Social Services, a family law attorney, and both a custodial and non–custodial parent.

“I was a circuit judge for 18 years, so I had hundreds and hundreds of child support cases during that time, and you use the guidelines very extensively,” said Arthur Rusch, Senator for Clay and Turner Counties.

Public input is meant to only discuss child support guidelines and statutes, but that hasn’t been the case so far.

“Much of the public testimony that we’ve heard are from people who are misinterpreting what the purpose of this is, our goal is to set the guidelines,” said Rusch.

The commission has heard from some who believe non-custodial parents should be paying more, and some who believe they should pay less. Their job is to find an even balance.

“It’s important that children be supported and both parents of got an obligation to do that,” said Rusch.

The commission has until December 31st to recommend what changes should be made, so they can be discussed at the 2022 legislative session.

For those unable to speak at Thursday’s Public hearing, the next one will be held on October 27th in Rapid City. You can speak remotely by signing up before October 20th the form to sign up can be found by clicking here.

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