It is currently legal for first cousins to marry in Florida.
The state laws prevent closer relationships such as brothers and sisters.
Couples need to apply for a marriage license from the clerk of any court office in the state. The form does not ask if the couple are related.
This article looks in depth at aspects of cousin marriage in the state.
Types Of Cousins That Can Get Married In Florida
All types of cousins can get married in Florida, including:
If you’re not clear on what these relationships are, click on the links above. You’ll find full explanations and examples.
It’s important to be sure that your partner is your cousin and not a half-sibling. Half siblings aren’t allowed to marry in Florida.
If you’re unsure about what this relationship means, we have it covered in our article that explains half siblings.
What You Should Know About First Cousin Marriage In Florida
Florida requires that you apply for a marriage license to get married in the Sunshine State.
You don’t have to be a resident. But be aware that some states in the U.S. may not recognize your marriage if they prohibit first cousin unions.
You can apply for the license in any of the sixty-seven counties in Florida. That license can be used in any other county in the state.
You will complete the application form and give it to the clerk, along with your ID and other necessary documents.
Be prepared for the possibility that the county clerk may ask you if you are related in any way. Don’t worry and just explain the relationship.
At the time of writing, couples don’t get issued the license immediately. This is unlike some other states. There is a three-day waiting period before the license is posted.
You have the option of completing a pre-marital course in the state. This lets you skip this waiting period.
Does the Florida marriage form ask if you’re related?
Some states have a section in their forms where you must state a relationship e.g. first cousin.
You can see an example in our article on first cousin marriage in West Virginia.
We reviewed a Florida application form in 2022. It doesn’t ask for this information.
Who Can’t Get Married In Florida?
The Florida Family Code has quite a long list of relationships that are prohibited.
Here we go…
A man may not marry any woman to whom he is related by lineal consanguinity, nor his sister, nor his aunt, nor his niece.
A woman may not marry any man to whom she is related by lineal consanguinity, nor her brother, nor her uncle, nor her nephew.Florida Family Code
You’ve probably noticed that first cousins aren’t included in the list or either a man or a woman.
But what is this “lineal consanguinity”?
Consanguinity means related by blood. “Lineal” consanguinity means a family member who is in your direct line.
This means your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and further up the line.
In the other direction, it means your children, grandchildren, and so on down.
So, cousins of any kind are not involved here.
Why first cousins are legal
Florida laws don’t say explicitly that first cousins can marry. They simply don’t mention the relationship in their restrictions.
So, first cousins are good to go.
Do Cousins Travel To Florida To Get Married?
Florida is bordered by Alabama and Georgia. Both states allow first cousin marriage.
There are many other states that share borders with neighbors that prohibit such marriages. Occasionally, legislators or media express concern that hordes of out-of-state cousins are racing into the state to get legally married.
I don’t find any such concerns expressed in Florida. That’s probably because the surrounding states have similar laws.
Our overview of first cousin marriage in the United States lays this out in a map that shows how the states differ.
Roman Catholic Marriages
If you want to celebrate your Florida wedding in a Roman Catholic church, you will face separate hurdles.
Historically, the Catholic Church hasn’t been keen on first cousin marriages. However, the church laws have been relaxed somewhat in recent years.
There is a process you need to go through with the hierarchy in order to get permission to marry in a church ceremony. This is known as a dispensation.
We explain in detail in our general article that explains first cousins (scroll down to the bottom).
What about second cousins?
Second cousins (and further out) don’t need to get special permission for a Catholic Church marriage.
We suggest that you explain the second cousin relationship to your priest before the service. This ensures that he doesn’t need to worry if he hears other family members mention “cousins” during casual conversation.
If you’re not sure about whether you are first or second cousins, check out our article that explains what second cousins are. It has diagrams that make it clear.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some quick answers to common questions.
Does Florida allow relatives to marry?
Florida does not allow close relatives to marry.
More distant relatives such as first and second cousins are allowed to marry in the state.
Can you marry a sibling in Florida?
Florida does not allow siblings to marry. Half-siblings are also not allowed to marry in the state.
Is it legal to marry your second cousin in Florida?
Marriage between second cousins is legal in Florida.
Other cousin relationships, such as first and third cousins, are also allowed to marry in the state.
The codes and laws referenced in this article may not be the most recent version. Delaware may have more current or accurate information.
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Please check official sources.