WFSU News · Tallahassee · Panama City · Thomasville
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
State News

Unmarried? Living Together? You're Breaking Florida Law

COHABIT_0.jpg
Wikimedia Commons
The state law prohibiting cohabitation has been on Florida’s books since the 1800s. ";

Nearly 600-thousand unmarried Florida couples are sleeping under the same roof, and according to Florida statutes, they’re breaking the law. Now, one lawmaker is seeking to repeal what he calls an archaic rule.

The state law prohibiting cohabitation has been on Florida’s books since the 1800s. But Weston’s first-term, Democratic State Representative Richard Stark said he didn’t know about the law until a student asked him about repealing it during a high school bill-writing contest.

“I wouldn’t have thought this was against the law any more. I don’t think it’s enforceable any more these days as well. You know, I go back to the 1960s and you used to hear about people back then for the first time living together and not getting married and who would’ve thought?” Stark said in a phone interview Thursday. “Now, back then we knew it was probably not legal but, that was fifty years ago!”

This isn’t the first time a lawmaker has tried to repeal the measure. Melbourne Republican State Representative Ritch Workman proposed repeal in 2011 but, was unsuccessful because of strong opposition from social conservatives who say reversing the rule would discourage people from marrying.