LGBT Issues And Concerns

At Rowe Law Offices, P.C., we understand that LGBT couples face the same legal issues and concerns as other families. Unfortunately, even with the recognition of gay marriage in Pennsylvania, some laws still treat LGBT and straight families differently when it comes to issues like child custody and probate. Our attorneys are here to help you deal with the legal challenges you face.

At Rowe Law Offices, P.C., we have been helping the LGBT community for many years to overcome obstacles to estate planning, inheritance, adoption and property division, even when Pennsylvania did not recognize valid same-sex marriages from other states.

If you are a new or a long-term LGBT couple looking to consult an attorney about your legal needs and options, call us at 610-816-0935 (Berks County), 717-382-8360 (Lancaster County), 570-362-6837 (Schuylkill County) or 866-232-1913.

Services Available To You

Because same-sex marriage has only recently been recognized by Pennsylvania, there are many legal needs that must be addressed by both new and long-term LGBT couples in the state. The following are examples of the types of legal issues we handle:

  • Marital agreements: In addition to prenuptial agreements for new couples, if you have been in a partnership for many years, you can now seek midnuptial and/or postnuptial agreements for your union — even if you have already been married out of state for many years or if you have recently gotten married. These agreements are extremely useful for relationships involving individuals with significant premarital assets or children from a prior relationship.
  • Same-sex divorce: Previous to Pennsylvania's recognition of same-sex marriage, couples who had been married in states recognizing these unions were forced to separate their assets according to partition actions. Now same-sex couples seeking a divorce have the same protections as heterosexual couples, including dividing their property using the protection of the Divorce Code, and seeking spousal support or alimony.
  • Property division for unmarried couples: Dividing property in the event of the breakup of a relationship can be difficult, even when you and your partner have not married. We can help you divide your assets fairly by filing a partition action, which essentially is equivalent to the equitable distribution procedure in a divorce matter.
  • Child custody disputes involving same-sex couples: Many same-sex couples choose to have children either through adoption or biologically through one of the partners. In the event of a breakup, one parent can find himself or herself without custody or visitation rights. Even after the recognition of same-sex marriage, paternity and legal parenthood are still important steps that every same-sex couple has to face. Without this official recognition, issues can arise regarding not only custody disputes, but also child support.
  • Estate planning for same-sex couples: Without good estate planning, same-sex couples would not have the same rights a married couple would have in the event of incapacity or death, especially if you and your spouse move to a state that does not recognize same-sex unions. Although spouses and spousal benefits (such as inheritance of property without taxation) are now available to same-sex couples, it is still a crucial step in safeguarding your legal relationship.

Contact Our Pennsylvania LGBT Lawyers

From our offices in Wyomissing and Lancaster, we serve clients in Berks, Lancaster and Schuylkill counties. We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your issues and concerns. Learn about the new Pennsylvania laws today.