FATHER, domestic relations. He by whom a child is begotten.
2. A father is the natural guardian of his children, and his duty by the natural law consists in maintaining them and educating them during their infancy, and making a necessary provision for their happiness in life. This latter, however, is a duty which the law does not enforce.
3. By law, the father is bound to support his children, if of sufficient ability, even though they have property of their own. 1 Bro. C. C. 387; 4 Mass. R. 97; 2 Mass. R. 415 5 Rawle, 323. But he is not bound, without some agreement, to pay another for maintaining them; 9 C. & P. 497; nor is he bound to pay their debts, unless he has authorized them to be contracted. 38 E. C. L. R. 195, n. See 8 Watts, R. 366 1 Craig. & Phil. 317; Bind; Nother; Parent. This obligation ceases as soon as the child becomes of age, unless he becomes chargeable to the public. 1 Ld. Ray. 699.
4. The rights of the father are authority over his children, to enforce all his lawful commands, and to correct with moderation his children for disobedience. A father may delegate his power over the person of his child to a tutor or instructor, the better to accomplish the purposes of his education. This power ceases on the arrival of the child at the age of twenty-one years. Generally, the father is entitled to the services of his children during their minority. 4 S. & R. 207; Bouv. Inst. Index, h. t.