Legal Obligations of Marriage in Ohio

Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival.  Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1, 12 (1967), quoting Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535, 541 (1942).  Marriage is not without its burdens and obligations.  In Ohio, marriage is a contract requiring mutual respect, fidelity, and support.  Ohio Revised Code section 3103.01.  

Duty of Support

The duty of support has big implications, and repurcussions if those duties are not met.  Each person in a marriage has the legal duty to support their spouse and their children through efforts of their labor or through use of their property.  Ohio Revised Code section 3103.03.

What Happens if a Person Doesn't Support Their Spouse?

In Ohio, if a person neglects to support their spouse, any other person who supplies the spouse with reasonably necessary living items (food, clothing, shelter, etc.), can recover the reasonable value of those items from the person who neglected to provide them to their spouse (by filing a civil lawsuit).  



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