Same Sex Marriage and Divorce in Pennsylvania

same sex divorce
With the 2015 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court establishing marriage equality for same sex couples, same sex divorce is now an issue. In fact, the ban on same sex marriage came to an end in Pennsylvania a year earlier. The reality is that same sex marriages will fail as have those between opposite sex couples for generations. Understanding so-called same sex divorce is vital to a same sex couple entering into a state of marriage.

In the End, There is Just Divorce

Technically and legally speaking, the divorce laws that have applied to opposite sex couples in Pennsylvania automatically are applicable to same sex couples who have wed. With that said, two factors need to be borne in mind. First, not all courts and judges are created equally. The possibility exists that an isolated incident of a Pennsylvania judge applying divorce laws differently to same sex couples could occur. Second, it is also conceivable as the first wave of same sex couples seek to divorce in Pennsylvania, the one size fits all divorce laws may not actually work 100 percent of the time. This may become particularly evident in the area of child custody, depending on the biological relationship each parent has with a child.

Fault, No-Fault and Collaborative Divorce

A same sex couple seeking to end a marriage in Pennsylvania will be able to pursue a fault, no-fault or collaborative divorce in the commonwealth. In a fault divorce, an allegation of a certain type of wrongdoing set forth in Pennsylvania law must be made. Conversely, in a no-fault divorce, no demonstration of marital wrongdoing is necessary. Finally, if the spouses are able to negotiate a divorce settlement, a collaborative divorce is available to them in Pennsylvania.

Selecting an Attorney

In the final analysis, there is no such thing as a same sex divorce attorney. A spouse to a marriage involving individuals of the same sex needs to retain an experienced Pennsylvania divorce lawyer. He or she needs to select a Pennsylvania divorce attorney who is tenacious and well-versed both in divorce law and court procedure. A partner to a same sex marriage needs to identify a lawyer that also understands the unique of the judges who preside over divorce cases in a particular jurisdiction as well. The process of selection legal counsel commences with the scheduling of an initial consultation. There is no charge for an initial consultation to discuss the ins and outs of a so-called same sex divorce.