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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 102349
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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If my same sex partner of 34 years abandoned me and moved

Customer Question

If my same sex partner of 34 years abandoned me and moved out, leaving me with all the utility bills that he paid for the duration of our relationship, and left me (71 years old), we were unable to be married in our home state of PA for 33 of those years, how would I proceed to try for some kind of "palimony" or common law rights (which we do not have in PA.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note:This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I am sorry to hear about this situation. You are correct - palimony does not exist in Pennsylvania. So someone in your situation cannot seek relief that way.

However, someone in your situation can claim a common law marriage, arguably. While common law marriage has been abolished since January 1, 2005 in PA, any common law marriage entered into prior to that date is still recognized. If you were together for 33 years, then arguably, there was a common law marriage. Someone in your situation would have to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the two of you lived together, acted like a couple, and held yourselves out like a marriage couple. In addition, there is the added nuance of whether or not a common law marriage entered into prior to 2005 that is same-sex would be recognized, since same-sex marriages are recognized now, but were not back then. And yes, the common law marriage can be held valid even if it was not valid before the US Supreme Court decision - the ruling was retroactive - see HERE.

The way one goes to seek relief here is by filing divorce, same as in a regular marriage. The other side may challenge the assertion that there was a common law marriage, but if the union was for 33 years, it should not be hard to prove.

AS PART OF THE DIVORCE, ONE CAN ASK FOR (1) DIVISION OF PROPERTY AND (2) ALIMONY. Let me know if you need more information on either of those, or how to initiate divorce, etc.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello again. This is a courtesy check in to see if you needed anything else in regards ***** ***** question. I am simply touching base. Let me know. Thanks!

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