South Carolina Marriage Laws: Traditional and Common Law
Common-law marriage requirements, traditional marriage rules, and information on same-sex marriage for South Carolina.
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What are the requirements for getting legally married in South Carolina?
South Carolina does not require a blood test before a marriage license will be issued. You can marry immediately after your marriage license is issued.
In South Carolina, as in most states, you must be of the age of consent, not be too closely related to your intended spouse, not be married to anyone else, and have sufficient "mental capacity," meaning you understand what you are doing when you marry.
Does South Carolina have common-law marriage?
Yes. In South Carolina, if you meet the criteria for common law marriage, then you are legally married and will be treated as a married couple for legal purposes, including the requirement that you get a legal divorce in order to end your relationship. In order to have a valid common law marriage, a couple must intend to be married, must live together for a significant period of time, and must hold themselves out as a married couple. If you need more information about common law marriage in South Carolina, consult an attorney.
Does South Carolina have same-sex marriage?
No. South Carolina doesn't allow partners of the same sex to marry, nor does it recognize domestic partnerships, civil unions, or reciprocal beneficiaries. For trends in same-sex marriage laws, see the article Same-Sex Marriage: Developments in the Law.
Learn about the proper legal steps to define and protect your relationship in the eyes of the law with Living Together: A Legal Guide, by Attorney Ralph Warner, Toni Ihara, J.D. and Attorney Frederick Hertz (Nolo), or Legal Guide for Lesbian & Gay Couples, by attorneys Denis Clifford, Frederick Hertz and Emily Doskow (Nolo).
Last updated 05/07/08