Florida Governor Scott Signs Bill That Makes Cohabitation Legal

by | April 12, 2016

Last week, Governor Rick Scott signed a bill that repeals Florida’s cohabitation law. Now, unmarried couples can legally live together in the Sunshine State. Most people are not aware that it has been a crime since 1868 for unwed couples to shack up in Florida. Even though the law was rarely enforced, it was still on the books.

For years, an unmarried man and woman who lived together could be fined $500 and given jail time for 60 days. The law stated that it was illegal for “any man and woman, not being married to each other (to) lewdly and lasciviously associate and cohabit together.”

According to Wikipedia, “Cohabitation in the United States is loosely defined as two or more people, in an intimate relationship, who live together and share a common domestic life, but are neither joined by marriage nor a civil union.” Hundreds of thousands of unwed couples in Florida are now free to cohabitate legally, even though they probably did not know otherwise.

Until last week, Florida was just one of the few states remaining that made cohabitation illegal. Michigan, Mississippi, and North Carolina still have this type of law on their books.

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