Same Sex Common Law Marriage in Pennsylvania: In re Estate of Carter, 2017 Pa. Super. LEXIS 256
In a case just handed down by the Pennsylvania Superior Court On April 17th, the Court found that two men who lived together as a married couple formed a common law marriage.
The law on Common Law Marriage has undergone change over the past 15 years. In 2005,the PA Legislature passed a law to prevent the recognition of a common law marriage formed after 2005. However, common law marriages formed prior to 2005 may still be recognized by PA Courts. Regardless, until recently with the recognition of same sex marriages by the U.S. Supreme Court finding provisions of the DOMA unconstitutional, common law marriage was a scenario unavailable to same sex couples.
Relying on the recent Supreme Court decision, the Pennsylvania Superior Court found in, “In re Estate of Carter, 2017 Pa. Super. LEXIS 256”, that two men that had exchanged rings in 1997, had supported each other financially, had given each other power of attorney, and had held themselves out to the public as a married couple were, indeed, married at common law.
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