Florida Legislature Seeks To Repeal Obsolete Cohabitation Statute

A legislator in Florida, Representative Ritch Workman, is attempting to repeal a state law which makes it illegal to cohabit with a party who is not a spouse. Specifically, “if any man or woman, not being married to each other, lewdly and lasciviously associate and cohabit together..they shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree”. This crime is currently punishable by 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

Approximately 544,907 Floridians live in a relationship in violation of Florida law. This law is now viewed as both unenforceable and unrealistic. One advocate believes that there is a role for government to promote marriage instead of cohabitation. The rationale is that greater marriage rates have a lower likelihood of crime, less domestic violence and better educational results for children.

Individuals believe that there are governmental limitations in promoting marriage. Arresting individuals who live together is not realistic or fair. Many Floridians do not want to marry due to a prior Broward divorce which they experienced or lived through with their own parents.

There are also negative consequences pertaining to cohabitation which you should discuss with your divorce attorneys in Broward county. A court may reduce or terminate an alimony award if the receiving spouse is in a supportive relationship with a person who is not related by consanguinity or affinity and with whom the person resides.

At the Fort Lauderdale alimony trial, the court will examine whether the parties hold themselves out as married couples, how long they have resided together, whether they have pooled assets or income, whether they support the other party, whether they perform services for the other or their company, and whether they have acquired assets together. The court will also look at whether they have acquired real property, whether there is an express or implied agreement regarding assets and support and whether they support the others children.