domestic relations. A child is the son or daughter
in relation to the father or mother.
2. We will here consider the law, in general terms, as it relates to the
condition, duties, and rights of children; and, afterwards, the extent which
has been given to the word child or children by dispositions in wills and
3. - 1. Children born in lawful wedlock, or within a competent time afterwards,
are presumed to be the issue of the father, and follow his condition; thoseborn
out of lawful wedlock, follow the condition of the mother. The father is
bound to maintain his children and to educate them, and to protect them
from injuries. Childrenare, on their part, bound to maintain their fathers
and mothers, when in need, and they are of ability so to do. Poth. Du Marriage,
n. 384, 389. The father in general is entitled to the custody of minor children,
but, under certain circumstances, the mother will be entitled to them, when
the father and mother have separated. 5 Binn. 520. Children are liable to
the reasonable correction of their parents. Vide Correction
4. - 2 The term children does not ordinarily and properly speaking comprehend
grandchildren, or issue generally; yet sometimes that meaning is, affixed
to it, in cases of necessity; 6 Co. 16; and it has been held to signify
the same as issue, in cases where the testator, by using the terms children
and issue indiscriminately, showed his intention to use the former term
in the sense of issue, so as to entitle grandchildren, & c., to take under
it. 1 Ves. sen. 196; Ambl. 555; 3 Ves. 258; Ambl. 661; 3 Ves. & Bea. 69.
When legally construed, the term children is confined to legitimate children.
7 Ves. 458. The civil code of Louisiana, art. 2522, n. 14, enacts, that
"under the, name of children are comprehended, not only children of
the first degree, but the grandchildren, great-grand-children, and all other
descendants in the direct line."
5. Children are divided into legitimate children, or those born in lawful
wedlock; and natural or illegitimate children, who are born bastards. (q.
v.) Vide Natural Children. Illegitimate children are incestuous bastards,
or those which are not incestuous.
6. Posthumous children are those who are born after the death of their fathers.
Domat, Lois Civ. liv. prel. t. 2, s. 1, 7 L. 3, 1, ff de inj. rupt.
7. In Pennsylvania, the will of their fathers, in, which no provision is
made for them, is revoked, as far as regards them, by operation of law.
3 Binn. R. 498. See, as to the law of Virginia on this subject, 3 Munf.
20, and article In ventre sa mere. Vide, generally, 8 Vin. Ab. 318; 8 Com.
Dig. 470; Bouv. Inst. Index, h. t.; 2 Kent, Com. 172; 4 Kent, Com. 408,
9; 1 Rop. on Leg. 45 to 76; 1 Supp. to Ves. jr. 442 Id. 158; Natural children.
Source: Bouviers Law Dictionary 1856 Edition
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