With more and more people moving to South Carolina from other states, the question of how our unique common law marriage situation changes their relationships is a common one. This guest post by attorney Ben Stevens answers that question:
When couples begin their relationship together in a state that does not recognize common law marriage, it does not automatically transform into a common law marriage when they move to a state that does recognize it. The South Carolina Supreme Court held in Callen v. Callen (2005 S.C. Lexis 265) that an impediment to marriage must be removed in a common law marriage, just as in a “regular” marriage, and afterward, there must be a new mutual agreement either by way of a civil ceremony or a new agreement to enter into a common law marriage. The full text of this opinion may be read here.