Florida common law marriage laws

Common law marriage rights in Florida

Florida Common Law Marriage and Cohabitation: What You Should Know

A second-degree felony, it was punishable by 60 days in jail and a five hundred dollar fine, until By the time the law was changed, Florida was one of only three states where it was illegal to cohabitate without marriage. In the state of Florida, if you are not married, you do not have any rights that married couples would have. This holds true for common law marriages.

You cannot reside in Florida and have the state establish a common law marriage. It will recognize a common law marriage from another state, however. Should you desire a dissolution of your common law marriage, you would have to acquire it from the state that established it. If you cannot discern who gets what and you have to go before a judge, the whole ordeal could get messy. It would be wiser to obtain a cohabitation agreement.

Common Law Marriage in Florida - Russell D. Knight | Family Lawyer

Think of it as a prenup, without the marriage. The document will determine who gets what in the event of a split and a court will consider it a binding contract. It is a document you will want to see an attorney about. There will be plenty of details to cover, and you want to make sure that you account for everything.

Properly submitting the paperwork is an important step.


Couples who enter into a common law marriage in a common law marriage state prior to moving to Florida will have their marriage recognized by the state. Common law marriages are ones in which two partners have been living together for some time and consider themselves essentially married, despite never having gone through actual marital ceremonies and never having acquired a marriage license. In some cases of people who formerly cohabited, courts have found a trust created in property of one person who cohabits with another, whereby the property is deemed held for the benefit of their domestic partner. Call us. Therefore, unmarried cohabitants may consider estate planning and power of attorneys in addition to having a nonmarital agreement.

Common law marriages and cohabitation can be complex distinctions. They are also messy when they end. If you are on the messy end, you want to contact an attorney as soon as possible.

Is common law marriage recognized in Florida?

You can read more about it here. When it comes to legal matters, it is better to prepare paperwork for a worst case scenario before it happens. Should the event arise that you decide to separate, personalities can change quickly and, hotter heads will take over.

Staying calm will help you and your ex-spouse reach a solution much faster. It is better to decide these things while you are thinking calmly and rationally. That is the best way to make sure that everything stays fair and even.

Marriage vs. Common Law Marriage: What's the Difference?

Even if it has to end, it should be amicably and fairly. You want to figure things out like adults. Since R and B resided in Florida before and after the date of the divorce decree, their relationship under Florida law prior to January 2, , would have met the common law marriage requirement except for the impediment of R's existing prior marriage.

The question then arises as to the marital status between R and B under Florida law subsequent to the removal of the impediment to their marriage.

R's attempted ceremonial marriage to B was void, rather than voidable. An attempted marriage by a person having a living spouse of an undissolved marriage is, under Florida law, illegal bigamous, and void from its inception. Jones v.

Common Law Marriage in Florida ?

Jones, Fla. Reese , So. Evans , So. After January 1, , common law marriages entered into the State of Florida are void.

Florida Statutes Annotated, provide in pertinent part:. The elements required for a common law marriage entered into in Florida prior to January 2, , were: 1 legal capacity to contract marriage, 2 mutual agreement of the parties to presently become husband and wife and 3 consummation of the agreement by cohabitation.

Dandy v. Dandy , So.

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Dade County , So. Prior to the Florida statute abolishing common law marriages, such a marriage where otherwise valid could arise on the basis of continued cohabitation after the removal of the impediment to the prior ceremonial marriage. Jones , supra, So. The State of Florida has no statutory provision under which a defective marriage may be validated upon the removal of an impediment to such marriage.