Marriage Law South Carolina

MARRIAGE LAWS IN SOUTH CAROLINA

The marriage law in the State of South Carolina is governed by the Title 20- Domestic Relations South Carolina Code. As per the code the marriage is a contract. Where one male and a female binds themselves to contract to be husband and wife of each other respectively.

PERSONS ELIGIBLE TO MARRY

As per the code all persons, except mentally incompetent persons and persons whose marriage is prohibited by this section, may lawfully contract matrimony.

However, the marriage of the following persons are forbidden by law of the State:

  1. A man shall not marry his mother, grandmother, daughter, granddaughter, stepmother, sister, grandfather's wife, son's wife, grandson's wife, wife's mother, wife's grandmother, wife's daughter, wife's granddaughter, brother's daughter, sister's daughter, father's sister, mother's sister, or another man.
  2. A woman shall not marry her father, grandfather, son, grandson, stepfather, brother, grandmother's husband, daughter's husband, granddaughter's husband, husband's father, husband's grandfather, husband's son, husband's grandson, brother's son, sister's son, father's brother, mother's brother, or another woman.
  3. A marriage between persons of the same sex is void ab initio and against the public policy of this State.

VOID MARRIAGES

  1. A bigamous marriage is void as per the law of the State. All marriages contracted while either of the parties has a former wife or husband living shall be void.
  2. A marriage between persons of same sex is void.

MINIMUM AGE FOR VALID MARRIAGE

  1. Any person under the age of sixteen is not capable of entering into a valid marriage, and all marriages hereinafter entered into by such persons are void ab initio.
  2. A common-law marriage hereinafter entered into by a person under the age of sixteen is void ab initio.

MARRIAGE LICENSE

Persons eligible to contract matrimony within this State may do so by first procuring a marriage license by filing a written application twenty-four hours prior to issuance of license with the probate judge, or in Darlington and Georgetown counties the clerk of court who issues the license.

The application must be signed by both of the contracting parties and shall contain the same information as required for the issuing of the license including the social security numbers, or the alien identification numbers assigned to resident aliens who do not have social security numbers, of the contracting parties.

The license issued, in addition to other things required, must show the hour and date of the filing of the application and the hour and date of the issuance of the license. The application must be kept by the probate judge or clerk of court as a permanent record in his office.

A probate judge or clerk of court issuing a license contrary to the provisions, upon conviction, must be fined not more than one hundred dollars or not less than twenty-five dollars, or imprisoned for not more than thirty days or not less than ten days.

ISSUANCE OF MARRIAGE LICENSE

Once when the completed application is filed by the persons wishing to marry shall apply in person. After a lapse of at least twenty-four hours thereafter and upon the payment of the fee provided by law, and by filing of a statement, under oath or affirmation, to the effect that the persons seeking the contract of matrimony are legally entitled to marry, together with the full names of the persons, their ages and places of residence, the judge of probate or clerk of court with whom the application was filed shall issue a license for the marriage of such persons.

All authorized offices, officials, or individuals empowered to issue a marriage license shall, at the time of application, provide to applicants for marriage licenses:

  1. family planning information supplied to the issuing officials by the Department of Health and Environmental Control; and
  2. the "South Carolina Family Respect" information pamphlet published and provided by the office of the Governor.

APPLICANTS UNDER AGE OF CONSENT

A marriage license must not be issued when either applicant is under the age of sixteen.

When either applicant is between the ages of sixteen to eighteen and that applicant resides with father, mother, other relative, or guardian, the probate judge or other officer authorized to issue marriage licenses shall not issue a license for the marriage until furnished with a sworn affidavit signed by the father, mother, other relative, or guardian giving consent to the marriage.

Proof of age required of minor applicant

The probate judge or any other officer authorized by law to issue marriage licenses shall issue any license to any applicant under the age of eighteen years only after he/she files a birth certificate, or a hospital or baptismal certificate which has been issued and dated within one year after birth, or a certified copy thereof, showing that he is of lawful age, which shall be filed in the records of his office with the application for such license.

Persons applying for marriage licenses in lieu of furnishing birth certificates or hospital or baptismal certificates may present the following:

  1. military service identification card;
  2. selective service identification card;
  3. passports and
  4. visas.

Proof of age of applicant over age eighteen and under age twenty-five

All persons over eighteen years of age and under twenty-five years of age shall furnish documentary evidence to the probate judge or any other officer authorized under the law to issue marriage licenses which shall prove the age of the applicant to the satisfaction of such probate judge or other officer.

VALIDITY

There is no expiration date for a South Carolina marriage license. The license can only be used within the State of South Carolina.

PERSONS AUTHORIZED TO PERFORM MARRIAGE CEREMONY

Only ministers of the Gospel or accepted Jewish rabbis and officers authorized to administer oaths in this State are authorized to administer a marriage ceremony in this State may perform in the State.

SOLEMNIZATION OF MARRIAGE

Ministers of the gospel who are authorized to administer oaths in this state may perform marriages. Ministers must complete the marriage license and give one copy to the parties and the other two must be returned to the county judge of probate who issued it within 15 days after the marriage.
 
SOUTH CAROLINA CLERK'S OFFICE
 

Abbeville County
Abbeville, SC
864.459.4023

Aiken County
Aiken, SC
803.642.2000

Allendale County
Allendale, SC
803.584.3157

Anderson County
Anderson, SC
864.260.4049

Bamberg County
Bamberg, SC
803.245.3008

Barnwell County
Barnwell, SC
803.541.1031

Beaufort County
Beaufort, SC
843.470.5319

Berkeley County
Moncks Corner, SC
843.761.6900

Calhoun County
St. Matthews, SC
803.874.3514

Charleston County
Charleston, SC
843.740.5890

Cherokee County
Gaffney, SC
864.487.2584

Chester County
Chester, SC
803.385.2604

Chesterfield County
Chesterfield, SC
843.623.2376

Clarendon County
Manning, SC
803.435.8774

Colleton County
Walterboro, SC
843.549.7216

Darlington County
Darlington, SC
843.398.4310

Dillon County
Dillon, SC
843.774.1423

Dorchester County
St. George, SC
843.563.0136

Edgefield County
Edgefield, SC
803.637.4076

Fairfield County
Winnsboro, SC
803.712.6519

Florence County
Florence, SC
843.665.3085

Georgetown County
Georgetown, SC
843.527.6325

Greenville County
Greenville, SC
864.467.7170

Greenwood County
Greenwood, SC
864.942.8625

Hampton County
Hampton, SC
803.943.7512

Horry County
Conway, SC
843.248.1294

Jasper County
Ridgeland, SC
843.726.7718

Kershaw County
Camden, SC
803.425.1500

Lancaster County
Lancaster, SC
803.283.3379

Laurens County
Laurens, SC
864.984.7315

Lee County
Bishopville, SC
803.484.5341

Lexington County
Lexington, SC
803.359.8324

Marlboro County
Bennettsville, SC
843.479.5610

Marion County
Marion, SC
843.423.8244

McCormick County
McCormick, SC
864.465.2630

Newberry County
Newberry, SC
803.321.2118

Oconee County
Walhalla, SC
864.638.4275

Orangeburg County
Orangeburg, SC
803.533.6280

Pickens County
Pickens, SC
864.898.5903

Richland County
Columbia, SC
803.748.4700

Saluda County
Saluda, SC
864.445.7110

Spartanburg County
Spartanburg, SC
864.596.2556

Sumter County
Sumter, SC
803.436.2166

Union County
Union, SC
864.429.1625

Williamsburg County
Kingstree, SC
843.354.6655

York County
York, SC
803.684.8513