Does Ohio Allow Common Law Marriages?

If you think you’re in a common law marriage, learn more about it and whether or not Ohio will recognize it.

Marriage isn’t for everybody. While it is a beautiful thing, some people would rather just be in a relationship with the person they love rather than making it legally binding. However, in some states, common law marriage could apply, which means that you and your partner could have some of the same rights as married couples.

By learning about common law marriage and the laws on it in Ohio, you can determine what your legal rights are and whether or not you want to get married.

What Is a Common Law Marriage?

A common law marriage occurs when a couple lives together for a certain period of time and presents themselves as being married without ever formalizing it. The couple must legally be allowed to marry, which means that they are the minimum age (usually 18), they are not married to someone else, and they are of sound mind. You must also intend to be married and present yourself as a married couple by referring to one another as your spouse, opening up joint bank accounts, and/or using the same last name.

Is Common Law Marriage Allowed in Ohio?

Common law marriage is not allowed in Ohio unless you entered into a common law marriage before October of 1991. Before that date, Ohio recognized common law marriages. Now, you need to get married and obtain a marriage certificate to be considered a married couple. Ohio will, however, recognize a common law marriage if it arose in another state and is in line with that state’s laws.

Contacting Richard P. Arthur

Richard P. Arthur, Attorney at Law, can help you with any questions about your traditional or common law marriage. You can call 937-254-3738 for a consultation. He has nearly three decades of experience advocating for families in Dayton and Trotwood, as well as Montgomery, Greene, Miami, Clark, and Warren counties.