Domestic relations refers to the field of family law, which governs relations within a family or household. In the past, these relations were limited to those between spouses, parents and children, and legal guardians and wards. Family courts, sometimes called domestic courts, are courts of limited jurisdiction that address issues involving family law. These courts cover a breadth of domestic relations matters including alimony, divorce, domestic abuse, child custody, child support.
A court’s ability to hear matters concerning domestic relations may depend on statutory definitions. For example, Ohio in Section 3105.011 of its Revised Code constrains “domestic relations matters” to those that fall under Section 2301.03 as well as complaints for child support, the determination of parental rights and responsibilities, and actions removed or transferred from juvenile courts.
[Last updated in June of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]