is a good reference for various countries and the laws therein, with regards to the cruising sailor.
For education, there are some other recommendations, but I'd have to look them up.
A catamaran like a PDQ 34, Prout Snowgoose, Maine Cat 30, Tom Cat 30 or Gemini 105 would give you three cabins (at least most of them are three cabin layouts)
, and give you a lot of room, and are in that budget range. See this page here for some listings.
Living aboard a cat can be easier for the wife and kids, since you don't live life at a 15-20˚ tilt on longer passages... and at anchor, the size is nice, as it lets you spread out.
You don't say where you want to cruise. That would influence what boats would be recommended. I know that Geminis, Prouts, and PDQ's have crossed the oceans, but I wouldn't recommend them if you were planning on doing mostly bluewater sailing. They're a bit small as cats go for that type of work.
I would highly recommend that you set aside about 10-20% of your boat buying budget for upgrades, repairs and re-fitting of what ever boat you buy. I have yet to see anyone buy a boat that was "perfect" for them, and didn't need some changes—this includes new ones.
I would also recommend that you take at least the ASA 101-105 courses for you and your wife, given your relative inexperience.
If you have questions on multihulls, please feel free to PM me... Most of the sailors here are monohull sailors...