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Ohio Marriage Laws

You've just announced your engagement and are excited to start your lives together as a married couple. But before that happens, there are certain practical matters to consider and certain basic requirements that must be met. Although all states share similar marriage procedures, you must comply with specific Ohio marriage laws if you want to get married in the state.

Ohio Marriage Laws at a Glance

Nothing can replace the expertise of an attorney when it comes to statutory interpretation, but it helps to have a plain language explanation of the statute as well. See the chart below for a description of Ohio's marriage laws including links to the relevant statutes.


  • Ohio Domestic Relations Section 31001.01(validity)
  • Ohio Domestic Relations Section 3101.04 (consent to marriage)
  • Ohio Domestic Relations Section 3101.08 (solemnization)
  • Ohio Domestic Relations Section 3105.12 (common law marriage)

Validity of Marriage

For a valid marriage in Ohio, the parties must fulfill certain qualifications.

  • Age appropriate: At least 18 without consent. A female who is at least 16 can marry with parental consent; a male under 18 needs judicial consent.
  • Not closely related: The couple may not be related to each other nearer than second cousins.
  • No bigamy: The marriage isn't legal if either party is already in another marriage.

Types of Marriage

Minor Marriage

When a minor wants to get married in Ohio, they must get consent from their parents, a surviving parent, a parent who represents a residential parent or legal custodian, a guardian, or any of the following:

  • An adult person
  • The department of job and family services or a child welfare organization
  • A public children services agency

Same Sex Marriage

The Supreme Court legalized same sex marriage across all 50 states. Thus, any same sex marriage in Ohio is valid.

Common Law Marriage

Ohio recognizes common law marriage, but only if the marriage occurred in the state prior to October 10, 1991. It was prohibited from that date on.

However, if a common law marriage meets all of the following requirements, it remains valid.

  • The marriage came into existence prior to October 10, 1991 or on or after that date in another state that recognizes the validity of common law marriage;
  • The marriage hasn't been terminated by death, divorce, dissolution of marriage, annulment; or
  • The marriage isn't otherwise invalid.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Ohio Marriage Laws: Related Resources

Find an Ohio Attorney for Help with Marriage Laws

Getting married in Ohio usually goes off without a hitch. However, if you're a minor or have other concerns, then you might want to get help with making sure you're in line with Ohio's marriage laws. You can use FindLaw's attorney directory to find a family law attorney near you.

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