• Brad Keating

Ohio Family Laws

Updated: Aug 31

Family Law usually pertains to family topics such as, but not limited to, marriage, divorce, adoption, child support, and child custody. Most family laws are pretty similar in the U.S. states, but each state still has its differences. Family law also includes the legal practice of child abuse, domestic abuse, stalking, and protective orders, which also can cross over into criminal law. If you are looking for help from an attorney, contact The Keating Firm LTD. for legal guidance.



Marriages and Divorce

Around the U.S., all of the states have similar marriage laws and procedures. However, for your marriage to be deemed legal in Ohio, you must comply with the marriage laws specific to Ohio laws. For your marriage to be considered valid in Ohio, both persons must meet various qualifications.

  • Each person must be at least 18 years of age to marry without parental consent. A female who is at least 16 years old can choose to get married with the consent of a parent and a male under 18 years of age needs consent from a judge.

  • The couple wanting to marry must not be closely related to each other. They cannot be closer in relation than second cousins.

  • If either of the parties are currently in another marriage, they are not permitted to be married.

Since there are legal requirements for two people to get married, there are also state regulations for a couple to complete the divorce process. In Ohio, if you are attempting to get a divorce, it is possible that a court will order a conciliation period for as long as 90 days. Also, the party that is actually filing for the divorce must have been a resident of the state for at least six months.


The state laws in Ohio allow for a couple to get a dissolution, which is a no-fault divorce that requires the couple to remain physically separated for one year, at the most. To file for an actual divorce, fault is required to be proven in Ohio. The state code lists the following as proof of fault:

  • Either person was already married and their spouse was still living at the time of the marriage of which the divorce is desired

  • Willful absence of the adverse party for one year

  • Adultery

  • Extreme cruelty

  • Fraudulent contract

  • Any gross neglect of duty

  • Habitual drunkenness

  • Imprisonment of the other person in a state or federal correctional institution at the time of the complainant filing for the divorce


Child Custody

To reach a custody arrangement in Ohio, the judge must determine and settle on an arrangement that is in the best interests of the child or children. Several factors come in to consideration when determining what is in the child’s best interests. These factors include:

  • What the child wants, if they are of an appropriate age and maturity to make that decision

  • What the parents want

  • The relationship the child or children have with each parent and other members of the household in which they might be placed

  • The child’s ability to adjust to change in their environment and life

  • The child’s mental and physical health

  • The parents’ mental and physical health

  • The willingness of each parent to advance the child’s relationship with the other parent

  • The parents’ willingness to cooperate and make decisions together

  • The closeness of each parent’s homes to each other

The child custody laws in Ohio comply with the Uniform Child Custody Act, and allow joint custody and recognize grandparent visitation rights when necessary.

Learn About Ohio Family Laws

What is the Legal Age of Consent in Ohio?

Generally, the age of consent is defined as the age when a person can - in the eyes of the law - legally consent to engage in any sexual activity. In Ohio, the age-of-consent is 16 years old. The criminal law for Ohio does provide other exceptions and guidelines for those who have sex with a minor child.


Is Adultery Illegal in Ohio?

Many people choose to get divorced for a variety of reasons. If one of those is that someone or their spouse committed adultery, it is easy to wonder if it is a grounds for divorce. If a married person is intimate with someone other than their spouse, the judge is not likely to rule out an Ohio divorce.


How to File for Legal Separation in Ohio?

If both parties are legally separating, it must be recognized in Ohio. Legal separation doesn't terminate the marriage, and neither person can remarry. In Ohio, there are three primary ways to end the marriage (dissolution, annulment, and divorce).


What is a Legal Separation in Ohio?

If both parties are legally separating, it must be recognized in Ohio. Legal separation doesn't terminate the marriage, and neither person can remarry. In Ohio, there are three primary ways to end the marriage (dissolution, annulment, and divorce).


What is the Legal Age to Babysit in Ohio?

Ohio law doesn't have any minimum ages where children can stay home by themselves. However, many organizations tell parents to wait until their children are at least 12 years old. This is often the age at which most kids gain enough maturity, but this is also based on environmental factors and other things.



Interested in learning about Ohio's vehicle and accident injury laws? Read our vehicle and accident injury blog.

Discover Ohio's weapon laws and statutes by visiting our weapon laws blog.



Disclaimer: The details included in this blog is offered for educational purposes only, and should not be taken as lawful guidance in any way. No recipients of material from this blog, clients or otherwise, should or should not act on the basis of any material consisted in the blog without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional guidance on the particular facts and situations at issue from an attorney accredited in the recipient's state.


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