With the recent Supreme Court ruling, the highest court in the land has made history by broadening the legal and cultural understanding of marriage. By doing this, they have granted official legal validation to “non-traditional” couples and families. This definition now must accommodate transsexual and homosexual relationships in addition to heterosexual relationships. At The Harris Law Firm, we wholeheartedly applaud and support this great societal shift, even as we recognize that new marriage definitions may be followed by new divorce definitions, among other legal concerns.

The following resources are only the beginning of what will be a large body of resources discussing the legal ramifications of non-traditional families. As families continue to shift and change, the law rightfully changes to accommodate the reality of daily life. That is the great strength of family law—it is ultimately about making people’s lives better through the law. We hope that the resources we offer on this topic continue to grow as families continue to form in all kinds of shapes and insightful legal minds consider this subject.

Common law marriages in the U.S. were really a matter of inconvenience. That is, the inconvenience of locating someone qualified to perform a marriage ceremony. In the old and often wild West, it was even more difficult to locate an official empowered to perform the ceremony. The phrase "common law" ...
Most families in our society do not fit into a typical mold and could be deemed non-traditional families. With the assistance of alternate reproductive technology (ATR), individuals, same-sex couples, unwed heterosexual couples, and some married couples, start such non-traditional families. Other ...