The most basic rule of creating a genogram is to use circles for females, squares for males and horizontal lines for families. A husband and wife are connected by a solid horizontal line with the children connected by vertical lines extending down from the horizontal line in order of age.
Multiple births such as twins are represented by multiple lines extending from the same point. Male parents are always on the left side of the family and female parents are always on the right side. A dotted line indicates cohabitation rather than marriage. In the case of multiple partners due to divorce or separation, spouses are always placed closest to the first partner, then the second, etc. Divorce is represented by two forward slashes on the marriage line and separation is represented by a single backslash.
Multiple marriages are most commonly represented by extending the marriage line as described above. In order to resolve ambiguity, always assume that partnerships are male-female unless otherwise specified. In these cases, overlapping marriage lines are used instead of extended marriage lines to ensure clarity. For more complex layouts, it is acceptable to swap the husband and wife, but only if there is a single family with no additional partners involved.