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Can I prove common law marriage and do I have any rights

Sharon, SC |

I have lived with a man for the last 12 years and we have introduced each other as husband and wife. We have bought 7 to 10 properties together over the years with survivorship rights and completed building a house 4 years ago that we live in. The house sits on his land but we built it 50-50 as far as money and labor are concerned. He has found out that he has cancer in the last year and I am the only carrier of medical insurance for him for the last 10 years. Over the last three months he has told to me to get out on several occasions. I believe this is being prompted by his daughter. How can I protect myself and my investment in this house? Do I have any rights as a common law wife in the state of South Carolina?

Attorney Answers 1

  1. South Carolina does recognize a common law marriage. One of the main issues will be whether you filed tax returns as married. If you did, then there should be no problem having you declared as his common law wife. If you are declared his wife, you have a statutory right to claim one third of his estate. Click on the link below for a full discussion of common law marriage in South Carolina. I have handled a number of such actions.