Getting Married in South Dakota : An Overview (Part 1)

Brooke Swier Schloss
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Family Law and Estate Planning attorney helping families across South Dakota plan and protect their loved ones


Marriage is a big decision. Marriage isn't about just making a lifelong commitment to your partner -  marriage is also a legal contract. Getting married means accepting the rights and benefits of the marriage, but also taking on the legal and financial obligations of the marriage.  

Definition of Marriage

Marriage is the legal union of two people, joined together after obtaining a marriage license from South Dakota and taking part in a ceremony. 

Before the Wedding

When you get married, the rights and responsibilities of that relationship are defined by the laws of the state in which you live. However, you and your spouse may be able to modify the rules by creating a premarital (or prenuptial) agreement (for example, you can agree to keep certain property separate). Before saying "I do" consider the following issues:

  • How should we manage our assets? (Can we keep some items separate?)
  • Should I sign a prenuptial(or premarital) agreement?
  • How do I create a legally binding prenuptial agreement?
  • Do I need a lawyer to draft a prenuptial agreement?
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