Pittsburgh LGBT & Same-Sex Divorce Lawyer
Same-sex marriage was officially legalized in Pennsylvania on May 20, 2014, thanks to a federal district court ruling. In June 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage must be legalized nationwide. Until May 2014, same-sex couples who married in other states and moved to Pennsylvania would get only partial recognition of their marriage; in particular, they were unable to obtain a divorce in the state. Thankfully, federal court rulings have now definitively established that same-sex marriage is equal to any other marriage in Pennsylvania and across the country. When a same-sex marriage comes to an end, the couple must go through the same processes and procedures as would an opposite-sex couple: divorce.
The Pittsburgh LGBT & same-sex divorce lawyers at Bunde & Roberts, P.C., provide the compassionate understanding and dedicated representation and advice to clients facing a divorce in Pennsylvania. So long as at least one party to the marriage resides in Pennsylvania, satisfying residency requirements, the couple may file for divorce in the state. Our attorneys will represent you through the divorce, from negotiation and mediation through evidence collection and hearings, all the way through trial and appeal, where necessary. If you are seeking to divorce a same-sex partner in Pennsylvania, Bunde & Roberts is a trusted name on which you can rely.
Child Custody for LGBT Families
Pennsylvania courts decide child custody matters in a divorce based on the best interests of the children. Courts lean in favor of keeping both parents involved with the child and generally favor keeping a child with the biological parents. Same-sex couples tend to face slightly different issues than opposite-sex couples in child custody determinations, in particular because one parent will generally be the biological parent of the child while the other will not. Biology is not determinative, however: Courts still favor some form of shared custody where possible, and either parent (whether biological or not) can seek full or joint custody.
If you are not the biological parent, it will help your case if you have or can legally adopt the children. The best interests of the child will be determined by a host of factors, including the emotional relationship between the child and each parent. The seasoned and effective child custody attorneys at Bunde & Roberts are here to help you fight for your parental rights. We will work with you to seek the custody arrangement that best suits your family, and we will not let your parental rights be limited without a fight.
Civil Union Divorce
Prior to May 2014, Pennsylvania did not recognize same-sex marriage. Pennsylvania did, however, recognize pre-existing marriages from other states. Pennsylvania did not, however, choose to recognize civil unions, even if a couple had a registered civil union in a different state. As a result, LGBT couples in a civil union were unable to obtain a divorce in Pennsylvania. In December 2016, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania fixed this odd loophole concerning LGBT civil rights: The Court ruled that civil unions must be recognized as the legal equivalent of same-sex marriages and, as such, are subject to Pennsylvania’s divorce laws.
If you are seeking to dissolve a civil union in Pennsylvania, the process will be essentially the same as filing for divorce. A knowledgeable Pennsylvania civil union divorce lawyer can answer your questions and walk you through the process.
Call for Assistance With a Pennsylvania Same-Sex Divorce
At Bunde & Roberts, P.C., our Pennsylvania divorce lawyers have years of experience helping clients with all manner of divorce and family law proceedings. If you are in a same-sex marriage or civil union in Pennsylvania and are considering divorce, call the dedicated and passionate same-sex divorce lawyers at Bunde & Roberts, P.C., today at 412-391-4330 for a consultation.