Butler LGBTQ & Same Sex Divorce Lawyer
A federal judge legalized same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania on May 20th, 2014, striking down a ban on gay marriage due to its unconstitutionality, according to the ACLU. This occurred shortly before the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage be legalized nationally in 2015. However, before May 2014, if a same-sex couple married outside of Pennsylvania and moved here to the Keystone State, they unfortunately only received partial recognition of their marriage. Because of this, they were unable to get divorced in Pennsylvania. That complication is thankfully over with, now that same sex marriage is recognized federally. But all of the same complex and sometimes contentious issues exist for same sex as well as opposite sex divorces. Our experienced Butler LGBTQ & same-sex divorce lawyers at Bunde & Roberts, P.C. are here to help you through this difficult time.
Aspects of a Same Sex Divorce
Same sex and LGBTQ divorces often involve all of the following issues, which are generally the same issues that must be negotiated about and agreed upon for opposite sex divorces:
- Equitable division of marital assets;
- Child custody and visitation;
- Child support; and
- Spousal support or alimony.
Complications of Some Same Sex and LGBTQ Marriages: Child Custody and Visitation
According to the Census, 14.7 percent of same-sex couples had a minor child living in their households in 2019. While this is a lower number than opposite sex couple households, it still represents tens of thousands of same sex couples who are raising children together. And, unlike most opposite sex couples, only one of the parents in same-sex couples is the biological parent. This can present a challenge when it comes to custody if the non biological parent does not already have legal guardianship. In this case, the court may choose to give full legal custody to the biological parent. If both parents are legal guardians, however, there is a higher likelihood of shared custody. The same is true of adopted children: sometimes only one parent signs papers to become the legal guardian of that adopted child. If the other does not, they may have little to no claim to custody rights. These, and other, complications specific to same sex and LGBTQ divorces are why you need to work with an attorney who has experience handling complex divorce negotiations, mediation, and litigation.
Same Sex Civil Union
Before same sex marriage was legalized in 2014, Pennsylvania had a ban on same-sex marriage, though it did recognize pre-existing same sex marriages from other states. Oddly enough, Pennsylvania did not recognize same sex civil unions, whether they were pre-existing from another state, or for couples who wanted to join in civil union here in Pennsylvania. In 2016, that loophole was finally closed, and same sex couples seeking to dissolve a civil union now have the ability to do so. This process is virtually the same as the divorce process, and an attorney can help.
Call a Butler Same Sex and LGBTQ Divorce Lawyer
Our compassionate Butler LGBTQ & same-sex divorce lawyers at Bunde & Roberts, P.C. have been handling divorces of all types for many years, and are here to help you through this difficult time. Call us today at 412-391-4330 to schedule a free consultation.