Let Our Firm Help You Navigate The Complexities Of Same-Sex Divorce
Same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania and the rest of the United States was an ever-changing legal landscape until the United States Supreme Court ruling in 2015 that legalized it nationwide. Although that was victory for marriage equality, it created problems and uncertainties for same-sex couples who had been together for years or decades and had commingled assets. If and when these couples ended their relationships, they didn’t necessarily have the same divorce protections as opposite-sex couples did.
If you are currently trying to end a same-sex relationship or marriage in Pennsylvania, it is wise to work with a firm that understands the complexities of common law marriage, civil unions and the other workarounds that were necessary before 2015. In Philadelphia and surrounding areas, look no further than Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel LLP.
Important Considerations For Division Of Property In Same-Sex Divorce
In Pennsylvania, common law marriage was abolished effective Jan. 1, 2005. However, the courts have recognized common law marriages predating Jan. 1, 2005, as valid marriages. This has particular significance for same-sex couples whose relationships began prior to 2005.
When dividing assets in a divorce, the date of marriage is pivotal in determining whether an asset is marital, and, if so, subject to equitable distribution under the Pennsylvania Divorce Code. While a marriage certificate is conclusive evidence of the date of a statutory (non-common law) marriage, partners who have been living in relationships that constitute common law marriages, so long as the relationship existed prior to Jan. 1, 2005, could argue that the beginning of the “common law” marriage is the date to be used to determine whether an asset is marital.
Further, in the event one of the common law spouses dies, the surviving spouse can claim spousal rights to the estate of the other spouse.
Reach Out Today For Skilled And Knowledgeable Legal Representation
If you are involved in a same-sex relationship, the family lawyers at Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel LLP, can help with any legal issues that you may face. To discuss your needs with us in an initial consultation, send us an email or call 215-790-0100.