This page provides information about Ohio laws pertaining to marriage and divorce. If you have questions about how these laws pertain to your personal situation, we invite you to speak with one of our attorneys for a free consultation.
Ohio Revised Code Chapter 3101: Marriage
Section 3101.01: Persons Who May Be Joined in Marriage
In Ohio, males can get married at age 18 and females can get married at age 16. However, in order for a minor (under age 18) to get married, her parent, legal guardian, or another approved adult must consent to the marriage. Ohio Revised Code Section 3101.01(A).
The Ohio statutes currently still state that a marriage “may only be entered into by one man and one woman.” They also say that any same-sex marriage entered into in the state will have no legal effect, and that same-sex marriages entered into outside of Ohio will not be recognized. However, in 2015 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that these laws were unconstitutional. Ohio Revised Code Sections 3101.01(A) and (C).
Section 3101.07: Expiration of Marriage Licenses
Marriage licenses are effective for 60 days from the date of issuance. Marriages entered into more than 60 days after issuance are not authorized under Ohio law. Ohio Revised Code Section 3101.07.
Section 3101.08: Who May Solemnize Marriages
The following individuals are authorized to conduct marriage ceremonies in Ohio: ordained and licensed ministers, county and municipal court judges, probate court judges, mayors (but only within their county). Ohio Revised Code Section 3101.08.
Ohio Revised Code Chapter 3103: Husband and Wife
Section 3103.01: Mutual Obligations
“Husband and wife contract towards each other obligations of mutual respect, fidelity, and support.” Ohio Revised Code Section 3103.01.
Section 3103.03: Married Persons’ Obligations of Support
Spouses in Ohio owe a legal duty to provide financial support to one another “so far as the spouse is able.” Spouses must also both support the couple’s biological and adoptive children through age 18 or completion of high school, whichever comes later. Ohio Revised Code Sections 3103.03(A) and (B).
Ohio Revised Code Chapter 3105: Divorce, Alimony, Annulment, Dissolution of Marriage
Section 3105.01: Divorce Causes
Under Ohio law, the following are acceptable fault-based grounds for divorce: either spouse had a husband or wife at the time of the marriage, willful absence for one year, adultery, extreme cruelty, fraudulent contract, gross neglect of duty, habitual drunkenness, imprisonment, procurement of a divorce outside of Ohio, living separate and apart without cohabitation for at least one year. A spouse can also seek a divorce based on incompatibility, unless denied by the other spouse. Ohio Revised Code Section 3105.01.
Section 3105.171: Equitable Division of Marital and Separate Property – Distributive Award
Marital property is subject to equitable division in a divorce. “Marital property” includes: real estate and personal property acquired by either or both spouses during the marriage, interests in property (including retirement benefits) acquired during the marriage, income and appreciation of separate property during the marriage due to contributions of either spouse.
Separate property is not subject to equitable division and includes: real estate and personal property acquired prior to the marriage, passive income from separate property, inheritances during the marriage, property excluded from marital property through a prenuptial agreement, gifts to individual spouses, and personal injury compensation. Ohio Revised Code Section 3105.171.
Section 3105.18: Awarding Spousal Support – Modification of Spousal Support
Ohio law defines spousal support as any payments to be made “to a spouse or former spouse, or to a third party for the benefit of a spouse or a former spouse, that is both for sustenance and for support of the spouse or former spouse.” Spousal support can consist of real estate, personal property, a one-time lump sum payment, or ongoing financial support. Spousal support awards terminate on death of either party, unless otherwise specified in a court order. Ohio Revised Code Sections 3105.18(A) and (B).
Some of the factors to be considered in calculating a spousal support award include the spouses’ incomes, earning abilities, ages, retirement benefits, and education. Ohio Revised Code Section 3105.18(C).
Sections 3105.43, 3105.44 and 3105.45: Collaborative Family Law
In order to use collaborative law for their divorce, spouses must first enter into a written participation agreement which includes a statement of their intent to resolve their divorce through the collaborative process and the identity of the collaborative family lawyer who will represent each spouse during the process. Ohio Revised Code Section 3105.43.
The collaborative law process ends with either: a negotiated resolution of all matters pertaining to the spouses’ divorce, a negotiated resolution of certain matters with an agreement that the remainder will not be resolved through the family law process, or termination of the process prior to resolution. Either spouse can terminate the collaborative process with or without cause. Ohio Revised Code Section 3105.44.
A lawyer who represents a spouse in collaborative divorce proceedings is precluded from representing the spouse if the divorce ends up in litigation. Ohio Revised Code Section 3105.45.
Do Both Parties have to Sign the Divorce Paperwork?
More Articles about Ohio Divorce
For more information about filing for divorce in Ohio and what to do if your spouse has filed for divorce, you can read:
- Cuyahoga County, Ohio General Divorce Information
- Can Parents Minimize the Negative Effects of Divorce on Their Children?
- Be Wary of Services Promoting Options for “Cheap Divorce”
- Can the Right Divorce Attorney Ease the Process?
- How to Get a Divorce in Ohio Without a Lawyer (And Why You Probably Shouldn’t)
- FAQs on Planning for Divorce
- FAQs on Same-Sex Marriage and Civil Unions in Ohio
Laubacher & Co. | Cleveland, OH Divorce Lawyers
Laubacher & Co. is a team of highly-experienced Ohio divorce lawyers serving clients in the Cleveland area and throughout Cuyahoga County. If you are considering filing for divorce, or if your spouse has already filed, please contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation.