Cohabitation could be legal again in Florida

TALLAHASSEE – Shacking up together could finally become legal again in Florida after nearly 15 decades.

In a 10-3 vote the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee approved a bill to repeal the prohibition on cohabitation, on Florida’s books since 1868. Though rarely enforced, violators face a $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail if a man and woman are living together.

Florida is one of only 3 states that still have a law on the books that makes cohabitation illegal. According to census data, there are more than 500,000 unmarried couples among the state’s almost 8 million households. The bill will head to the Judiciary Committee next. A similar bill last year died in committee.

Property and support issues are no less important to couples who choose to stay unmarried in committed relationships. Domestic partnership agreements can protect these couples who decide to remain unmarried, just as premarital agreements do for marrying couples.

The attorneys of Allen Dell pride themselves on staying abreast of changes in laws affecting our clients and in drafting premarital and postmarital agreements, resolving complex family law disputes, and estate planning. Marriage and/or cohabitation affects all couples in committed relationships whether the partners are of the same-sex or opposite sexes, and whether they are addressing privacy rights, a health care crisis, retirement, shacking-up, breaking-up, divorce or death.

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