Berman & Asbel, LLP

Same-sex marriage and divorce issues continue in Pennsylvania

Many individuals are aware that same-sex marriage is still a contested issue in many areas. Though great strides have been made in legalizing same-sex unions in several states, many states still do not recognize these unions. As a result, many couples may face issues when it comes to seeking a divorce if they live in a state, such as Pennsylvania, where these unions are not considered legal. Same-sex marriage and divorce unfortunately continue to see many issues.

Just like any other couple, same-sex couples can face a decline in their relationship even if they are married. Unfortunately, if the couple was married in a state that has legalized same-sex marriage but moved to a state that has not, the parties may not be able to divorce in their current state of residence. As a result, they can face complications.

In some instances, in order to divorce in a state that allows same-sex marriage, the couple would have to reside in that state for at least a year. In states that do not allow same-sex marriage, couples cannot get divorced because the state does not see them as married in the first place. As a result, the couple is often left in a difficult situation of no longer wanting to be in a relationship but still considered legally married in some areas of the country.

Because many states continue to be divided on this issue, same-sex marriage and divorce issues are continuing to be prevalent. Because the laws concerning these unions vary from location to location, it is important that individuals are aware of the applicable laws governing their state. Same-sex couples residing in Pennsylvania may wish to remain updated on relevant laws in the state.

Source:, Pennsylvania law presents obstacles to dissolving same-sex marriages, Colby Itkowitz, March 1, 2014

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