Welcome to the Texas Chosen Family Law blog!
What is a chosen family anyway?
A chosen family is made up of romantic partners, biological family, stepfamily, friends, co-workers, and relationships-that-don’t-fit-neatly-into-categories. We come together not because we’re stuck with each other, but because we want to. We’ve made commitments to each other: some relationships are formal, with legally defined obligations, others are simply understandings developed over years; some involve equal contributions, and some involve someone doing more caregiving.
Our chosen communities include real-life and online relationships. Most groups include some folks who look and think a lot like us and some people with very different experiences and viewpoints. Our participation in these communities can be based on anything from shared values about big, important things or a shared fandom of some fun pop-culture.
We choose our family and community every day, and they choose us back – until they don’t (or can’t). Over the course of a life, relationships with people and groups will come to an end. (Sooner or later all relationships end because we don’t live forever.) For me, partings have sometimes been mutual and loving and sometimes unwanted and painful.
Chosen family is not a new concept, but with modern communications, individual mobility, and increased community acceptance of non-traditional arrangements, we are more able to decide what our relationships look like than ever before. The legal structure of our society lags behind these changes in family and community structures. We can advocate for changes that protect and support folks in non-traditional families, and for now we’re trying to use the legal tools that were made to fit traditional models. We can do it, but it takes some innovation and creative thinking. And I believe even the more traditional families will benefit from the growth and change that is happening around them.
I want this blog to be one source of information that supports individuals, families, and communities that don’t fit the traditional model. I want to share the legal and practical information I’ve learned that can help others build the families and communities that they need. And I want to hear your stories: What has worked for you? What mistakes have you made and learned from? What creative problem-solving have you done that you think others could benefit from? I invite you to walk with me as we build our lives and communities. The journey is better together. To suggest blog topics or share a story, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and put “Blog” in the subject line.
This content is for information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. If you have questions or concerns about your specific legal needs, please schedule a consultation with an attorney.