child

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child

n. 1) a person's natural offspring. 2) a person 14 years and under. A "child" should be distinguished from a "minor" who is anyone under 18 in almost all states.

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

child

1 a young person. The law in either England and Scotland cannot be said to offer any single definition of the word. Various ages are defined as childhood, but all are under the age of majority, which is 18.
2 in wills and deeds, ‘child’ can refer to persons of any age. Normally ‘child’ will refer to issue in the first generation only, excluding grandchildren or remoter issue, but if the testator's intention can be interpreted as including descendants then the position maybe different.
3 throughout the UK for the purposes of child support, a qualifying child is a person under the age of 16 or under 19 and in full-time (but not advanced) education or under 18 in certain circumstances and a person who has not contracted a valid, void or annulled marriage. A qualifying child is one for which one or both parents is an absent parent.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

CHILD, CHILDREN, 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 testaments.
     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; those born 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. Children are, 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, Sec. 7 L. 3, Sec. 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.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in classic literature ?
The cat had scarcely finished speaking when the witch returned to see if the children had fulfilled their tasks.
Half-dead with fright, and trembling in every limb, the poor children lay down to sleep on a heap of straw in the corner of the hut; but they dared not close their eyes, and scarcely ventured to breathe.
Through a little hole in the wall the children had crept in, and they were sitting in the branches of the trees.
I will put that poor little boy on the top of the tree, and then I will knock down the wall, and my garden shall be the children's playground for ever and ever." He was really very sorry for what he had done.
The children used to pelt her with mud; so she begged to be taken on as assistant cowherd, but the cowherd would not have her.
Only the children had altered--for then they were all on my side and had learned to love Marie.
There was no kitchen maid to be found; of the nine cows, it appeared from the words of the cowherd-woman that some were about to calve, others had just calved, others were old, and others again hard-uddered; there was not butter nor milk enough even for the children. There were no eggs.
Peaceful with six children Darya Alexandrovna could not be.
There is poetry here and fantasy and humor, a little pathos but, above all, a number of creations in whose existence everybody must believe whether they be children of four or old men of ninety or prosperous bankers of forty-five.
'Children, rejoice, eat and drink to your heart's content, we have won the battle!' But the young wrens said: 'We will not eat yet, the bear must come to the nest, and beg for pardon and say that we are honourable children, before we will do that.' Then the willow-wren flew to the bear's hole and cried: 'Growler, you are to come to the nest to my children, and beg their pardon, or else every rib of your body shall be broken.' So the bear crept thither in the greatest fear, and begged their pardon.
Perhaps it need not be done so pedantically, thought Nicholas, or even done at all, but this untiring, continual spiritual effort of which the sole aim was the children's moral welfare delighted him.
And forthwith the children began this great business of making a snow-image that should run about; while their mother, who was sitting at the window and overheard some of their talk, could not help smiling at the gravity with which they set about it.

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