Same Sex and LGBT Q Divorce in PA

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Only a few short years ago, the Supreme Court held that same-sex couples have the right to marry, striking down state laws that banned same-sex marriage.

Prior to this landmark ruling, many same-sex couples entered into civil unions. A civil union is a partnership that resembles a marriage, but lacks the legal protection that marriage affords. For example, unlike a marriage, states are not required to recognize out-of-state civil unions. However, the Pennsylvania Superior Court has held that out-of-state civil unions create the functional equivalent of marriage for purposes of dissolution under the Pennsylvania Divorce Code. So, what does this mean? Same-sex couples who entered a civil union in another state may get divorced in Pennsylvania.

In fact, any same-sex couple can get divorced in Pennsylvania as long as at least one of the parties has been a resident of Pennsylvania for at least six months prior to filing for divorce. Whether the parties were married (or entered a civil union) in another state makes no difference. The parties may choose a fault-based divorce or a no-fault divorce. If the parties opt for a no-fault divorce, one party may file unilaterally or the parties may file mutually, which results in a much quicker dissolution.

(For more information on this topic or any topic in divorce, custody, mediation, child support, collaborative law, PFA matters, alimony, or other family law matters, visit www.Pittsburgh-Divorce-Lawyer.com or contact Notaro & Associates, PC at 412-281-1988 for a free phone consultation with an attorney. You can also schedule online by clicking here.)