South Dakota Restrictions on a License When You Owe Child Support

by Heather Frances Google
South Dakota helps custodial parents collect support for their children.

South Dakota helps custodial parents collect support for their children.

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If you have children, your divorce decree likely ordered child support payments from one parent to the other, since parents are legally obligated to provide support for their children. You are legally required to pay the amount ordered and if you don’t pay, you may be subject to punishment, such as having your driver’s license, recreational licenses or professional licenses revoked.

Department of Social Services

South Dakota’s Department of Social Services Division of Child Support (DCS) helps parents establish child support orders and enforce those orders. DCS services are available for anyone who has custody of a child, but parents who receive public assistance are automatically referred for DCS services. If you pay support directly to your ex-spouse without state intervention, your ex-spouse would have to register for DCS services before she can receive DCS help in enforcing your child support order.

Income Withholding

Many child support orders include a provision that requires your employer to take child support directly from your paycheck, but your income can also be withheld if you owe past-due support. DCS can issue an order requiring your employer to withhold a portion of your pay, including your current child support payments and payments on your past-due amount. If you are unemployed, the amount can be deducted from your unemployment compensation. These income-withholding orders may be the first step of collection efforts when you don’t pay your child support.

License Restrictions

When income withholding or other enforcement efforts do not work, DCS may pursue restrictions on your driver’s license, hunting and fishing licenses or professional licenses. DCS has authority to restrict these licenses without court intervention, so your ex-spouse won’t necessarily have to go to court to get your license revoked. However, DCS will not restrict your license unless you owe at least $1,000 in back child support and have not made any payments for three months or have at least three months of past-due support.

Restriction Process

Before your license is restricted, DCS will notify you in writing about the pending restriction. Before DCS will remove the restrictions, you must pay the entire past-due amount or create a payment plan. If you create a payment plan but fail to make payments as scheduled, DCS can request a full revocation of your license.