common law marriage in Florida

Common law marriage in Florida is a union that has never been formally registered with the state. Therefore, there was no official ceremony or marriage certificate issued. Instead, there is simply consent by the parties, coupled with some outwardly visible action, such as living together. Essentially, the couple would represent themselves out to be married and act as if they are in fact married. Living together is not a requirement of common law marriage in Florida. However, the habitation status can be a significant piece of evidence.

Common Law Marriage in Florida

The laws treat a valid common law marriage in Florida as it would any other legal marriage. The parties are entitled to all the benefits and responsibilities of marriage. Additionally, the dissolution process would generally be the same as any other dissolution of marriage in Florida. Further, even Alimony is available in a common law divorce if the court feels it is appropriate under the circumstances. For more information on common law marriage in Florida or the divorce process contact a divorce law firm in Tampa.

Termination of Common Law Marriage in Florida

Florida permitted common law marriage until 1968, when it enacted Florida Statute 741.211. The statute abolishes a common law marriage in Florida entered into after January 1, 1968. However, Florida will still recognize a common law marriage that was legally created in another state. Marriages formed in other states are entitled to the full faith and credit under the United States Constitution. Thus, under Article IV of the U.S. Constitution, all states must recognize a valid common law marriage that was entered into in another state. The validity of the marriage is to be determined by the laws of the jurisdiction where the marriage was entered into.

Marriage in Florida

To create a valid marriage in Florida, a couple must secure a marriage license and then solemnize the marriage in a formal ceremony. The marriage license must be issued by either a Florida county court judge or clerk of the court. The issuing officer is required to issue the marriage license so long as the requisite fee is paid and there are no impediments to the marriage. The marriage license will expire within 60 days unless there is a ceremony administrated by an ordained minister, elder, or other clergy of any church, a judicial officer whether active or retired, a clerk of the circuit court, or a notary of the State of Florida to formalize the marriage.

Divorce Law Firm in Tampa

If you need legal assistance with either dissolving a traditional marriage or common law marriage in Florida contact us to speak with a divorce attorney in Tampa. We will listen carefully as you describe the details of your case and develop a comprehensive legal strategy aimed at resolving all of your concerns. Our professional legal team is passionate about fighting for you and your family’s needs. When you work with a Tampa divorce attorney at our firm, you can count on the support you deserve, as well as strong advocacy of your rights in these important matters.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are my custody rights?
How do I file for divorce?
Who gets to keep the house?
Will I have to pay alimony?
6 replies
    • Florida Law Advisers
      Florida Law Advisers says:

      Hi Carol and thanks for your inquiry, we will have an attorney email you shortly to discuss.

  1. joanne
    joanne says:

    I will try to do a brief description to see if there is any possibility that can be applied to my case. I was entitle of widow benefit on behalf of my husband social security since 2017 but I have not get any money, because I am not allowed to get the payments in my now permanent residence country (Costa Rica Central America), since I am not a USA citizen and since the social security cannot count the cohabitation years before my marriage. I did start living with my husband in FLA on 1980, 1981, 1982, on 1983 (born our1st children in FLA, 1894 marriage (and born of our 2nd children in FLA), 1985 (born of our 3r children in FLA). Then on December we separated geographically due to certain constraints. I moved to Costa Rica with our Children, but we kept our marriage for over 30 years and children visit grandparents, and father in Fla.

    I am allow to get the payment abroad if I had lived the required 5 years with my husband in FLA under the family relationship the social security request, I lived with my husband 5 years in FLA and within that time the marriage was done, and 3 children were born in FLA. But the social secure representative said they can only count the time after marriage.

    My doubt is if I did lived 5 years with my husband in FLA and within this time the marriage happened, and 3 children were born in USA FLA. Does Social security cannot definitely recognize the time before marriage?

    I appreciate the time you took for reading and any advise that could be provide.

  2. Christine W.
    Christine W. says:

    Does the state of Florida recognize common law if it was recognized by a foreign country? I live in both Sweden and Florida and had a common law in Sweden. I assumed it was in Florida also but when we separated last year, my ex sold our Florida home and kept the cash. He never listed me on the deed and I didn’t know until it was sold with all my personal belongings still inside. Can you all help?


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *