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Same Sex Divorce in Pennsylvania

Gay couple fightingNow that the U.S. Supreme Court has banned all attempts to prohibit gay marriage across the United States, same sex couples are reaping all of the benefits, including the ability end an unhappy or unsuccessful marriage. The Supreme Court decision actually came after the state of Pennsylvania started recognizing same-sex divorce, though. In May, a federal judge ruled that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional and Governor Tom Corbett indicated that he would not appeal the decision. The first petition for same-sex divorce was filed in Bucks County later that month.

Legal experts say that the rules that apply to heterosexual marriages will generally apply in same sex divorces. Though Pennsylvania accepts divorce petitions where no fault is alleged, a party to a divorce can still allege wrongful conduct by a spouse, which can potentially be beneficial in custody, support and property division disputes. In Pennsylvania, the accepted grounds are:

  • Adultery
  • Cruel and barbarous treatment
  • Bigamy
  • Incarceration
  • Desertion
  • Indignities
  • If you do file an “at fault” complaint in Pennsylvania, you must submit evidence at a special court proceeding that will allow a “special master” to determine whether there was marital misconduct.

    All other laws and rules governing divorce are applicable. The parties must meet residency requirements, and non-custodial parents will be potentially responsible for child support. Under appropriate circumstances, a court may issue an award of spousal support, and marital debts and assets will be subject to equitable distribution.

    Contact Aronberg, Kouser, Snyder & Lindemann, P. A., Attorneys at Law

    At Aronberg, Kouser, Snyder & Lindemann, P. A., we have more than 35 years of experience helping people in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Contact us by e-mail or call our office at 856-429-1700 (toll free at 800-49-JUSTICE). Your initial consultation is free.

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