Cohabitation in the Sunshine State is illegal. Who knew?
Apparently joking about the ‘old ball and chain’ in Florida isn’t so funny — especially if you’re not legally bound to the ball and chain in question. A law dating back to the 1800′s states that it’s illegal for unmarried opposite-sex couples to live together under the same roof. Hey, this can only be a positive thing, right? Your guy is literally forced to make an honest woman out of you unless he wants to pay a hefty fine/go to jail. Hello, loophole!
The Sun-Sentinel reports: “Cohabitation of unmarried people is currently a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by $500 or up to 60 days in jail. The same penalty applies to cheating husbands and wives — though only to opposite-sex couples.”
Until now, the law has been mostly ignored aside from one particular case in Jacksonville, where a woman had her husband handcuffed for cheating.
“It’s not generally reported and out of 20 years in law enforcement, I’ve never seen a person arrested. But, it is on the books,” Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Spokesman Ken Jefferson said of the case at the time.
However, a local representative, Ritch Workman, is attempting to have it repealed. Asshole.
Why shouldn’t we live with a guy before marriage? Loving someone is only part of the battle. Existing with him in the same space and seeing all of his bad habits (while having him see yours) is a necessity. Consider it a trial run, if you will.
I’ve only ever lived with one boyfriend, and after a month of cohabitation I knew that I’d sooner live in a cardboard box share a bedroom with him. But that was in New Hampshire, where living with the guy you’re dating is legal.
Still, what else can you expect from the state where you’re fined for riding a bike without holding onto the handlebars, where you can get suspended from school for wearing baggy pants and where unmarried women can’t parachute on a Sunday?
Fact: the Sunshine State is weird.