Getting Married in South Dakota : An Overview (Part 2)

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 Requirements

Whether you decide on a simple ceremony in City Hall or a black-tie gala, you'll need to meet some basic requirements and make certain legal and financial preparations for your upcoming marriage. You'll need to know the answer to these questions:

  • What are the legal requirements for marriage in South Dakota?
  • How can I get a marriage license and certificate in South Dakota?
  • Do we need to get blood tests before getting a marriage license in South Dakota?
  • Who is allowed to perform the ceremony in South Dakota?

Marriage Rights and Benefits

Once you're married, you receive numerous rights and benefits. These range from tax and inheritance benefits, to alimony and child support in the event of a divorce, to your right to take bereavement leave from your job if your spouse should die. Marriage rights and benefits fall into the following categories:

  • tax benefits, when you file jointly with your spouse
  • estate planning benefits, including inheritance rights
  • government benefits, including receiving Social Security, Medicare, and disability benefits for your spouse
  • employment benefits, such as obtaining health insurance through your spouse's employer and the right to take medical leave to care for a spouse who becomes ill
  • decision-making benefits, including the right to make medical decisions if your spouse is incapacitated
  • financial support, including equitable property division in a divorce
  • consumer benefits, such as family rates for health, homeowners', auto, and other types of insurance.


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