Patria Potestas Law and Legal Definition

This Latin term that means paternal power. It is the authority held by a male head of the family over his legitimate and adopted children and other descendents in the male line who are not emancipated. In earlier days the father had extensive power over the family, which included the power of life and death. However with the advent of time, Patria Potestas became limited to the responsibility to support and maintain family members. This is also termed as fatherly power.