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Civil Unions in Pennsylvania

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By: John M. Schaffranek, Esq.

For a number of years, some states offered civil unions to same-sex partners as a way to approximate the benefits, protections, and responsibilities that often accompany marriage. Pennsylvania never had a law permitting or prohibiting civil unions. During the time when same-sex couples could not marry, however, many sought out civil unions.

Situations where current Pennsylvania residents who have entered a civil union in another state and now wish to have the union dissolved present a problematic legal set of circumstances in that no Pennsylvania court has yet determined that it has the authority to dissolve civil unions performed elsewhere. Additionally, most states that permit civil unions require that the parties live there at the time they request dissolution of the union. The exceptions, with differing limitations, are Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, and Vermont.

Under current law in Pennsylvania, residents in civil unions from other states may be without recourse to have Pennsylvania dissolve that relationship. The Pennsylvania General Assembly potentially could empower Pennsylvania courts to address this problem. There also is currently a case on appeal before the Pennsylvania Superior Court to determine if Pennsylvania courts already have this authority.

If you have questions about the status of your civil union in Pennsylvania, review our website and contact our office for a consultation today!

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Pennsylvania Office Locations

Allegheny County – Main Office:

3810 South Water St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Phone: 412-281-9906
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Washington County Law Office:

By appointment only

2400 Ansys Dr.,
Canonsburg, PA 15317
Phone: 724-227-0293
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Butler County Law Office:

By appointment only

2009 Mackenzie Way,
Cranberry Township, PA 16066
Phone: 724-776-9906
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Clearfield County Law Office:

By appointment only

114 1/2 S. Second Street
Clearfield, PA 16830
Phone: 814-290-0587
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Somerset County Law Office:

By appointment only

61 Swiss Mountain Drive
Champion, PA 15622
Phone: 814-352-3037
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Allegheny County – Main Office

3810 South Water St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Phone: 412-281-9906
Get Directions

Washington County Office

2400 Ansys Dr., Suite 102 Canonsburg, PA 15317
Phone: 724-227-0293
Get Directions

Butler County Law Office

2009 Mackenzie Way, Suite 184 Cranberry Township, PA 16066
Phone: 724-776-9906
Get Directions

Clearfield County Law Office

Lisa Marie Vari & Associates, P.C. 114 1/2 S. Second StreetClearfield, PA 16830
Phone: 814-290-0587
Get Directions

Somerset County Law Office:

By appointment only

61 Swiss Mountain Drive
Champion, PA 15622
Phone: 814-352-3037
Get Directions

Miami-Dade County:

1200 Brickell Avenue, Suite 1950
Miami, FL 33131
Phone: 305-222-7351
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Miami-Dade County:

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1200 Brickell Avenue, Suite 1950
Miami, FL 33131
Phone: 305-222-7351
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Our family law offices are working remotely from 8:30 am - 5 pm EST to support you during the COVID-19 crisis. We offer phone, Zoom, Webex and Skype appointments.

Our family law offices are working remotely from 8:30 am - 5 pm EST to support you during the COVID-19 crisis. We offer phone, Zoom, Webex and Skype appointments.Contact Us