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Ohio Marriage Contracts

Ohio marriage contracts involves three parties: (1) you; (2) your spouse; and (3) the State of Ohio. Marriage is a legal contract with rights and obligations.  Of course, marriage is not just a cold legal concept—marriage is a spiritual and personal relationship between two people.  The obligations of marriage: mutual respect, fidelity and support.  The duty to support includes the parties’ mutual biological and adopted children.

Ohio Marriage Contracts Start With A Marriage License


The marriage contract begins with a marriage license. The probate court in the county in which one of the prospective spouses live is authorized to issue the marriage license.  Both future spouses must personally appear at the probate court and swear under oath one’s name, age, residence, place of birth, occupation, social security number, father’s name, mother’s maiden name, and the name of the person expected to solemnize the marriage.  Anyone who has been divorced must show a certified copy of a divorce decree and provide the places, dates and case numbers of the divorce.


The marriage license is good for sixty days. If the marriage is not performed within that time frame, the couple must obtain a new marriage license in order to marry.

Ohio Marriage Contracts And Common Law Marriage


Ohio marriage contracts can still, in limited circumstances, include common law marriage. Since October 1991, common law marriage is no longer recognized in Ohio.  Ohio does recognize Ohio common law marriages that were entered into by October 1991.  Ohio also recognize common law marriages validly completed under other states’ common law marriage laws.

The Impact Ohio Marriage Contracts On Asset Ownership


In Ohio, getting married does not give a spouse ownership of premarital assets, nor does it impose liability to a spouse for the other spouse’s premarital debts. However, a spouse does obtain dower rights to real estate by virtue of marriage.  This means, a non-owner spouse’s interest in real estate cannot be released without that non-owner spouse’s consent.

Articles Related To Ohio Marriage Contracts


Click on any of the following links to read more about Ohio marriage contracts: Property division in divorce; Property division for unmarried couples; Military issues in divorce and child custody; Can you force your spouse into a divorce.

About The Author


Attorney Gigiano was admitted to the practice of law in Illinois in 1993. In 1999, he was admitted to practice in Ohio.  In 2000, he took his experience to a private practice in Wadsworth, Medina County, Ohio.  Attorney Gigiano has maintained a practice in Wadsworth since that time.  Call now at 330-336-3330 if you need the services of a Wadsworth divorce law lawyer in Medina County or a Wooster family law lawyer near Barberton.