5 Rules Everyone Should Know About Marriage In South Dakota

Under South Dakota law, marriage is a civil contract between two persons who are each at least eighteen years old and who are otherwise capable of getting married. If the couple meets certain requirements about age, marital status, competency, and consanguinity (the parties cannot be too closely blood related to each other) they may marry.

Here are five rules everyone should know about marriage in South Dakota.

Rule #1 - What is the minimum age for consenting to a marriage?

Any unmarried person who is eighteen years old or older, and who is not otherwise disqualified, is capable of consenting to a marriage. However, if either person is between the age of sixteen and eighteen, he or she must provide the county register of deeds with a notarized statement of consent to marry from one parent or legal guardian.

Rule #2 - Is there a licensing fee required to get married?

Yes. Before you can get married in South Dakota, you have to obtain a license from the county register of deeds and pay a fee.

Rule #3 - Do I have to prove my age before I can receive a marriage license?

Yes. To obtain a marriage license, each person must sign the marriage application in person in the presence of the register of deeds or in the presence of a person appointed by the register to act in the register’s behalf. Each person must provide proof of age before the marriage license can be issued. Proof of age can be satisfied by providing a certified copy of a birth certificate or any photographic identification which includes the person’s name and date of birth.

Rule #4 - Does a minor need the consent of a parent or guardian to marry?

Yes. If either person is a minor, no marriage license can be granted unless the written consent of the person’s parent or guardian is filed with the county register of deeds.

Rule #5 - How much time is allowed for the solemnization of a marriage after a license is issued?

A marriage license becomes void unless the marriage is solemnized within twenty days after the license is issued by the county register of deeds.

For more information about marriage in South Dakota, download our popular book -Your Essential Guide to Child Custody and Divorce in South Dakotaby clicking here

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