In May 2014, same-sex spouses who wanted to obtain divorces gained the right to do so in Pennsylvania. This allowance extends to couples that were married in other states, and the attorneys at Row Law Offices, P.C., strive to help couples discover and exercise their legal options. Our goal is to prepare you for your split and devise terms that are agreeable to you and your former spouse, so we offer a range of tactful representation and consultation services.
Same-sex couples in Pennsylvania may benefit from reviewing some of the information published by the ACLU to address many of the questions that are asked frequently. According to a U.S. District Judge's May 20 ruling, Pennsylvania will now recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages and will allow same-sex couples to get married in the state. The next day, the governor confirmed that he would decline to appeal the ruling.
When same-sex couples with children separate in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, they may face obstacles to establishing child support, visitation and custody. Many LGBT couples have their children through assisted fertilization or adoption; the result is that one or both parents might not be biological parents of the children. When a domestic partnership ends, the non-biological parent will be at a disadvantage.
In May 2014, Pennsylvania joined several neighboring states in recognizing the right of same-sex couples to marry in its jurisdiction. One day after a judge struck down the state's Defense of Marriage Act, the governor announced that he would not appeal the judge's ruling. Couples who had previously entered into civil unions or domestic partnerships may now apply for marriage licenses. If a couple was married in another state that allows same-sex marriage, Pennsylvania will now recognize that marriage within its own borders.
No matter your personal beliefs on whether same-sex couples should be able to raise children, there is a bevy of studies that show that being raised by gay and lesbian parents is not detrimental to children. The problem is, however, that when some parents divorce because one spouse realizes he or she is gay, courts are reluctant to accept the results of those studies when it comes to making custodial arrangements. Unfortunately, there are many gay and lesbian parents who have a difficult time getting fair amounts of parenting time just because of their sexual orientations.
Every same-sex couple in Pennsylvania is aware that they cannot legally marry in the state. Despite this, there are a number of same-sex couples in Berks County and across the state who have gone ahead and left the state to get married. When they come back, they can take advantage of the federal benefits of being married, but, in the eyes of the state, they are still single. This is difficult for many people, which is why 28 same-sex couples have filed a state lawsuit that would overthrow the state ban on same-sex marriage.
Things are heating up in courts across Pennsylvania for same-sex couples. There are a handful of lawsuits in both state and federal courts that challenge the Pennsylvania law that bans the recognition of same-sex marriage, one of which will soon be headed to trial. Earlier this month, a U.S. district court judge told the litigants to prepare for a pre-trial conference. At the conference (scheduled for today), lawyers need to be ready to discuss setting a date for the trial.