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Complex Family is a generic term for any family structure involving more than two adults. The term can refer to any extended family or to a polygamy of any type. It is often used to refer to the group marriage form of polygamy.

A joint family (or extended family) can also be known as a complex family, parents and their children's families often live under a single roof. This type of family often includes multiple generations in the family. In India, the family is a patriarchal society, with the sons' families often staying in the same house.

In the joint family setup the workload is shared among the members, often unequally. The women are often housewives and cook for the entire family. The patriarch of the family (often the oldest male member) lays down the rules and arbitrates disputes. Other senior members of the household baby sit infants in case their mother is working. They are also responsible in teaching the younger children their mother tongue, manners and etiquette.

The house often has a large reception area and a common kitchen. Each family has their own bedroom. The members of the household also look after each other in case a member is ill.

Hindu joint family

A Joint Hindu family otherwise called as 'Hindu Undivided Family' [HUF] consists of all persons lineally descended from a common ancestor, and includes their wives and unmarried daughters. A daughter ceases to be a member of her father’s family on marriage and becomes a member of her husband’s family.

The joint and undivided family is the normal condition of Hindu society. An undivided Hindu family is ordinarily joint not only in estate, but also in food and worship. The existence of joint estate is not an essential prerequisite to constitute a joint family. A family that does not own any property may, nevertheless, be joint. Where there is joint estate, and the members of the family become separate in estate, the family ceases to be joint family. Mere severance in food and worship does not operate as a separation. also there is no workload.

Businesses carried out by Hindu joint families in India are governed by the Hindu Law, where the liability of the entire business is borne out by the oldest surviving male member, who is the Manager of the family and is the head of family and is also the head of the business of the Hindu Undivided Family by default. He is called "Karta".

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