Burr & Forman

08.13.2019   |   Articles / Publications

HR Simple: SC Not Really Married, Not Really Benefits, Not Really Leave

In an article published on August 5, 2019 by HR Simple, Reggie Gay examines the Supreme Court of South Carolina’s recent Opinion prospectively abolishing Common Law Marriage in South Carolina.

You May No Longer Be Married in South Carolina

The Supreme Court of South Carolina recently issued an Opinion prospectively abolishing Common Law Marriage in South Carolina.  Stone v. Thompson, Op. No. 27908 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed July 24, 2019) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 30 at 94).  The effective date is July 25, 2019.  The Court’s reasoning was partially based on modern culture which is vastly different than the past.  The Court determined that South Carolina’s recognition of Common Law Marriage rested on outdated “moral paternalism”.  The stigma associated with unwed mothers and having children out of wedlock, or the difficulty of having a proper officiant for a marriage is no longer applicable.  Thus, the Court found the underlying rationale for recognizing Common Law Marriage no longer exists.

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