South Carolina Legislature


 

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common law marriage found 11 times.    Next
S 763
Session 113 (1999-2000) 

S 0763 General Bill, By Russell

Similar(H 3656, H 3668) A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 20-1-360, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO MARRIAGE WITHOUT A LICENSE, SO AS TO ABOLISH COMMON LAW MARRIAGENext IN SOUTH CAROLINA ON AND AFTER JULY 1, 1999, AND TO ESTABLISH CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH A PreviousCOMMON LAW MARRIAGENext ENTERED INTO PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1999, MAY HEREAFTER BE RECOGNIZED AS VALID. 04/27/99 Senate Introduced and read first time SJ-11 04/27/99 Senate Referred to Committee on Judiciary SJ-11


A BILL

TO AMEND SECTION 20-1-360, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO MARRIAGE WITHOUT A LICENSE, SO AS TO ABOLISH PreviousCOMMON LAW MARRIAGENext IN SOUTH CAROLINA ON AND AFTER JULY 1, 1999, AND TO ESTABLISH CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH A PreviousCOMMON LAW MARRIAGENext ENTERED INTO PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1999, MAY HEREAFTER BE RECOGNIZED AS VALID.

Whereas, under the common law of the State of South Carolina, marriages have previously been recognized between a consenting man and woman without benefit of license or ceremony, in situations where both parties are legally free to marry, have the intent to be married to each other, consummate the union by cohabitation with each other, and hold each other out as husband and wife in the community; and

Whereas, sometimes the difficulty of proving a Previouscommon law marriageNext after the death of one of the parties adds to the complexity of probating an estate; and

Whereas, the need to maintain proper public records and the ability to obtain a marriage license with little or no trouble makes the concept of Previouscommon law marriageNext no longer logical or necessary; and

Whereas, it is the intent of the General Assembly that Previouscommon law marriageNext should be abolished. Now therefore,

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

SECTION 1. Section 20-1-360 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"Section 20-1-360. Nothing contained in this article shall render illegal any marriage contracted without the issuance of a license.

(A) On and after July 1, 1999, Previouscommon law marriageNext is prohibited in this State, except as provided in subsection (B), and the marriage of a man and woman may occur in this State only if:

(1) a license is obtained as provided in Sections 20-1-210 et seq.;

(2) the marriage is solemnized by a person authorized in Section 20-1-20; and

(3) the marriage is otherwise in conformity and compliance with the statutes of this State relative to valid marriages.

(B) A Previouscommon law marriageNext which:

(1) prior to July 1, 1999, came into being or occurred in this State, and

(2) has not been terminated by death, divorce, or annulment,

remains valid on and after July 1, 1999, if the Previouscommon law marriageNext is registered in the appropriate county with the Bureau of Vital Statistics by July 1, 2002.

(C) Any reference in the Code to common law marriages shall be construed to refer to common law marriages described in subsection (B).

(D) On and after July 1, 1999, cohabitation, regardless of the nature, extent, or degree, shall not ripen into a Previouscommon law marriage."

SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.

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