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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!

Request A Consultation by filling out the form below.

  • Contact Lisa Marie Vari & Associates, P.C.
  • Let us make this process easier. Contact us by email below or call 1-844-VARI-LAW (1-844-827-4529) to schedule a confidential consultation.
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Pennsylvania Office Locations

Allegheny County – Main Office

Manor Building, Penthouse Suite
564 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Phone: 412-281-9906
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Washington County:

2400 Ansys Dr., Suite 102
Canonsburg, PA 15317
Phone: 724-436-5500
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Butler County Law Office

2009 Mackenzie Way, Suite 184
Cranberry Township, PA 16066
Phone: 724-776-9906
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Clearfield County Law Office

Lisa Marie Vari & Associates, P.C.
114 1/2 S. Second Street
Clearfield, PA 16830
Phone: 814-290-0587
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Allegheny County – Main Office

Manor Building, Penthouse Suite 564 Forbes Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Phone: 412-281-9906
Get Directions

Washington County Office

2400 Ansys Dr., Suite 102 Canonsburg, PA 15317
Phone: 724-436-5500
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
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Miami-Dade County

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

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