Family Definition and Legal Meaning
On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Family, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.
What is Family?
n. 1) Wife, husband, and children. 2) Blood relations. 3) Members of a household, including servants and relatives, with one or more people directing the economic and social unit.
History and Meaning of Family
The term "family" has evolved throughout history and can be defined in various ways, depending on cultural and legal contexts. Traditionally, a family refers to a group of people related by blood or marriage. However, modern definitions of family have expanded to include other types of relationships, such as adoption, cohabitation, and same-sex partnerships.
According to the legal definition, a family can also refer to members of a household who share an economic and social unit. This definition includes relatives and servants living under the same roof, as well as those who do not share the same bloodline. In some cultures, the concept of family extends beyond nuclear family members and includes extended family members, such as aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Examples of Family
- A married couple and their children would form a traditional nuclear family.
- An adopted child and their parents would also qualify as a family under the legal definition.
- Roommates who live together and share household expenses could also be considered a family.
- A same-sex couple who raises a child together could form a non-traditional family.
- In some cultures, multi-generational households, including grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, are considered one family unit.
Legal Terms Similar to Family
- Household: Refers to a group of people who live together and share living expenses, such as rent or mortgage payments.
- Kinship: Refers to connections or relationships by blood, marriage, or adoption.
- Domestic partnership: A legal relationship between two people who live together and share a domestic life but are not married.
- Lineal descendants: Refers to direct descendants, such as children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
- Cohabitation: Refers to a living arrangement in which an unmarried couple lives together as though they were married.