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Same-Sex Marriage

Since the Supreme Court has recognized same-sex marriage, are we married if we had a church ceremony, but no legal marriage?

No. Ohio no longer allows common-law marriage, which permitted couples to hold themselves out as married without legally marrying. If you want your marriage recognized by the state, you must have a legal marriage performed.

Is there any difference in terminating a same-sex marriage versus a heterosexual marriage?

No, the process is the same, as is the law regarding children and property. When children are born during the marriage, both spouses are presumed to be the parents. All property acquired during the marriage is marital, unless derived from pre-marital property, inheritance or gift to only one spouse.

If a child is born prior to a legal marriage, is the non-biological partner considered a parent?

No. Same-sex partners who are not married can enter into a joint custody agreement allowing both to have custody of a child, but the non-biological partner is not recognized as a parent. If you marry after the child is born, the non-biological partner can become a parent through a step-parent adoption proceeding.

How is the length of marriage calculated?

If you were legally married in a state that recognized same-sex marriage prior to the Supreme Court ruling such marriages constitutional in Obergerfell, the court will use your original marriage date. If you were living as a married couple, but did not marry prior to Obergerfell, the court may still deem your marriage began when you and your partner considered yourselves married.



The law office of Cathy R. Cook represents clients throughout
Southwestern Ohio, including those in Cincinnati, Hamilton
County, Clermont County, and Warren County.

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