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each other or with any other person respecting property, which either might, if unmarried, subject in transactions between themselves to the general rules which control the actions of persons occupying confidential relations to each other. They cannot by contract with each other alter their legal relations except as to property and except that they may agree to an immediate separation and make provision for their support and that of children during separation. All property owned before marriage, or subsequently acquired by gift, bequest, devise, or descent, by either husband or wife, with the rents, issues, and profits thereof, is his or her separate property. All other property acquired after marriage by either husband or wife, or both, is community property. The wife may, without the consent of her husband, convey her separate property or dispose of the same by will. Neither the separate property nor the earnings of the wife are liable for the debts of the husband, but her separate property is liable for her own debts contracted before or after marriage. The separate property of the husband is not liable for the debts of the wife contracted before marriage. The earnings and accumulations of the wife and of her minor children living with her or in her custody, while she is living separate from her husband, are her separate property. The husband has the management and control of the community property, except the homestead, with the like absolute power of disposition (other than testamentary) as he has of his separate estate. Husband cannot convey community property without consideration unless wife joins in conveyance, and it is the safer course to have the wife join the husband in all conveyances. Such is the common practice. Husband can convey property directly to the wife. The community property is not liable for the contracts of the wife made after marriage unless secured by pledge or mortgage thereof executed by the husband. Dower and curtesy are abolished. On the death of the wife the entire community property, without administration, belongs to the surviving husband except such portion as may have been set apart to her by judicial decree for her support. On the death of the husband one-half of the community property goes to the surviving wife, and the other half is subject to the testamentary disposition of the husband, and in the absence of such disposition goes to his descendants, or if there be no descendants is divided in the same manner as the separate property of the husband, the whole community property being subject to his debts, the family allowance, and charges and expenses of administration. Contracts for marriage settlements must be in writing, executed and acknowledged in like manner as deeds of land, and recorded in every county in which there is land affected thereby. In case of divorce on the ground of adultery or extreme cruelty the community property (except the homestead) is divided in such manner as the court may deem just. In other cases it is equally divided. A married woman may, upon obtaining leave of court, transact business as a feme sole. Women arrive at majority at the age of eighteen years.
All property coming to the wife before or after marriage, except from her husband, remains her sole and separate property. She may bargain and sell, and enter into any contract in regard to the same as if she were sole. She may sue or be sued in regard to her property, person, or reputation, the same as if sole; may make a will, but she cannot bequeath away from her husband more than one-half her property without his consent in writing. She may carry on business on her own account, and her earnings are her separate property. The husband is liable for the debts of his wife contracted before map riage to the extent of the property he may receive through her, but no further; and the wife may contract debts, sign bonds, bills, and notes, and sue and be sued in regard to the same as if she were sole. Dower is abolished. Por educational and family expenses husband and wife are jointly and erally liable. Women are of age at eighteen.
Husband married before April 20, 1877, has a right to use of wife's real estate during her life and an estate by the curtesy after her death. All real estate conveyed to a married woman, in consideration of property acquired by her personal services during coverture, shall be held by her to her sole and separate use; and the avails of all sales of the real estate of a married woman, if invested in her name, or in the name of a trustee for her, belong to her. When any man abandons his wife for a continuous period of three years she may, on petition to the Superior Court, be authorized to dispose of her real estate, as if she were a feme sole. All the personal property of any woman married since the 22d of June, 1849, and before April 20, 1877, and all the personal property acquired thereafter by a married woman, and the avails of any such property if sold, shall vest in the husband in trust, to receive and enjoy the income thereof during his life, subject to the duty of expending therefrom so much as may be necessary for the support of his wife during her life, and of her children during their minority, and to apply such part of the principal thereof as may be necessary for the support of the wife, or otherwise, with her written assent; and upon his decease the remainder of such trust property shall be transferred to the wife, if living, otherwise as she may by will have directed, or in default of such will to those entitled by law to succeed her intestate estate. A marriage contracted after April 20, 1877, gives neither husband nor wife any interest in the property of the other, except as survivor. Her earnings are her own property. She may contract with third persons or convey property to them as if unmarried. The property of either is not liable for the debts of the other incurred before or after marriage. The purchases of either are presumed to be on his or her own account, unless they have gone to the support of the family, or for her reasonable apparel, or for her support when abandoned by her husband, in which cases he is liable. He is bound to support the family. On the death of either, the survivor has the use for life of one-third of the property, real and personal, of the other, which right is not to be defeated by any will of the other. If there be no will the survivor takes the third absolutely, and if no issue one-half. If either leaves a legacy to the other that legacy is to be taken instead of this right; but the legatee may elect whether to accept the legacy or his or her statutory share. They may contract before or after marriage for a provision in lieu of this statutory share. Neither party abandoning the other is entitled to this share. Parties married before April 20, 1877, may by written contract duly recorded substitute for their rights as existing at that date those given to parties thereafter married as above provided. A married woman whose husband is under a conservator has all the rights as to her property and estate as though unmarried. Married woman may act as executrix, etc. Husband and wife may make conveyances to each other.
DELAWARE. The real and personal property of any married woman, whother acquired before or after marriage from any person but her husband, is her sole and beparate property, not subject to the disposal of her husband or liable for his debts. She may receive and control her separate earnings, and may sue and be sued in regard to her separate property. She may also make any contracts necessary to be made with respect to her property. In purchasing real estate she may give any bond, mortgage, or security, as if sole, and her husband need not join. She may be executrix or administratrix. She may make a power of attorney. If twenty-one years of age she may dispose of her property, real and personal, by will. A widow is entitled to dower, as common law, but if the husband die without leaving issue she is entitled to one-half, instead of one-third, of the real estate. Females attain their majority at 21 years. Guardianship continues until the female is 21 or is married.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. Property, real or personal, belonging to a married woman at the time of her marriage, or afterwards acquired, including her earnings, is her separate property, is not subject to disposal by the husband, or liable for his debts, and may be conveyed, devised, or bequeathed by her, as though she were unmarried, but no conveyance of her property shall be valid unless she is twenty-one years of age. A married woman may contract, sue, and be sued in her own name in all matters relating to her sole and separate property. She may make a will at the age of eighteen.
FLORIDA. All property, real and personal, of the wife owned by her before marriage, or acquired afterwards by gift, devise, bequest, descent, or purchase, shall be her separate property, and not liable for the debts of the husband without her consent in writing executed according to the law governing conveyances by married women. Property of married women may be charged in equity and sold for her debts in certain cases. The wife's property remains in the care and management of the husband, but he cannot charge for such care, nor can she sue him for the rents and profits thereof. Her earnings are her own separate property. Husband and wife must join in any conveyance of her property, and in case of conveyance of real estate she must make a separate acknowledgment apart from her husband. The wife's deed, notwithstanding her minority, is valid if her husband joins with her. A married woman cannot make a contract to bind her separate property unless her husband joins with her; but on petition in chancery she may, by license of court, become a free dealer, and manage and control her own estate, and contract and suc in reference to the same, as though unmarried.
Dower as at common law; but the widow may elect, instead of dower, to take a child's share in the estate of her husband, subject to the payment of his debts. A married woman may dispose of her property, real and personal, by will as though unmarried. Suits by married women must be begun as at common law; husband must join or she must sue by her next friend, except in suits relating to her real estate.
All property of the wife at the time of her marriage, and all acquired by her during coverture is her separate property, and is not liable for the debts, defaults, or contracts of her husband. She may contract, sue, and be sued in her own name as though unmarried, in all matters relating to her separate estate. She cannot bind her separate estate by any contract of suretyship for her husband or any assumption of his debts, and cannot sell to her husband except by order of court. The husband is bound to support the wife, and she is presumed to be his agent in all purchases of necessaries suitable to her station in life. The wife's separate property is not liable for debts contracted by her as agent for the husband in the purchase of necessaries for herself and children, but is liable for debts contracted by her individually for such support. A woman may contract marriage or make a will at fourteen; for other purposes she becomes of age at twenty-one. Dower is allowed only in lands which husband owned at his decease, or to which he obtained title in right of his wife. She may elect to take a child's portion in lieu of dower.
All property, real and personal, owned by the husband and wife respectively before the marriage, and that subsequently acquired by gift, bequest, devise, or descent, or that acquired with proceeds of separate property, is separate property. The wife may sign, acknowledge, and have recorded a complete inventory of her separate personal property in the county where the parties reside, which is prima facie evidence of her title. She has the full management, control, and power to dispose of her separate property and may enter into a contract in reference to it, in the same manner and with like effect as a married man, and may sue or be sued in the same manner as if single. Her separate property is not liable for her husband's debts. All other property acquired by either party after marriage is common property. The husband has the entire management and control of the common property, except the homestead, with the same power of disposition as of his own separate estate. The rents and profits of all separate property of both husband and wife are deemed common property, unless it is otherwise provided in the instrument of devise. On the dissolution of the community by the death of either husband or wife survivor takes one half of community property, subject to community debts; the other half is subject to testamentary disposition of deceased; if there be none, then to the survivor. On dissolution by decree of court, the common property is equally divided, unless, in case of adultery or extreme cruelty, the court otherwise orders. She may dispose of all her separate property, real and personal, by will. Curtesy and dower are abolished.
In ILLINOIS, a married woman may own, in her own right, real and personal property obtained by descent, gift, or purchase, and manage, sell, and convey the same to the same extent and in the same manner that the husband can property belonging to him. Neither husband nor wife shall be liable for
the debts of the other contracted before marriage, nor for the separate debts of each other. Contracts may be made and liabilities incurred by a wife, and the same enforced against her, to the same extent and in the same manner as if she were unmarried; but she cannot enter into or carry on a partnership without the consent of her husband, unless he has abandoned her, or is idiotic or insane, or in the penitentiary. She may sue and be sued alone, as if she were unmarried. Neither he nor she can recover any compensation for any labor performed or services rendered for the other. Provisions are made for the protection and support of the wife in case of her abandonment by the husband. By another act, tenancy by the curtesy is abolished, and husband and wife are put on the same footing as to dower. Married woman may sue alone in regard to her separate property, and when the suit is between husband and wife; may be executrix if her husband file his consent. make a will. She attains majority at eighteen.
In INDIANA, a married woman holds her real and personal property and all the income therefrom absolutely as her separate property, free from liability for the debts of the husband, but she cannot sell or encumber her real estate unless the husband join in the conveyance. She may dispose of her separate personal property as if unmarried; may carry on any trade or business, and her earnings and profits therein are her separate property; and may enter into any contract in reference to her separate personal estate or business, or the management and improvement of her separate real estate, and may sue or be sued thereon. The husband is not liable for debts contracted in her separate business. Curtesy and dower are abolished. As against creditors, widow takes five hundred dollars in goods or money and one-third of real estate in fee if it does not exceed ten thousand dollars, one-fourth if it does not exceed twenty thousand, and one-fifth if it exceeds that amount. As against relatives, she takes five hundred dollars in goods or money, and onethird of real and personal property if two or more children survive; onehalf if one child survive. If no children, but one of husband's parents survives, she takes the whole estate if under one thousand dollars, otherwise three-fourths. If neither children nor husband's parents survive she takes the whole. There are special provisions regarding second marriages. Married woman may make a will, and is eligible for certain public offices. A woman attains majority at twenty-one but may marry at sixteen.
In Iowa, a married woman owns in her own right all property, real or personal, which came to her by descent, gift, or purchase, and may manage, dispose of, and devise the same by will without the interference of her husband. Neither the husband nor wife is liable for the debts or contracts of the other, made or incurred before marriage or after. For all civil injuries by the wife, damages may be recovered from her alone. In case of abandonment of either by the other, the party abandoned may petition the court, who may, on sufficient proof of the facts, authorize the petitioner to manage or encumber the property of the abandoning party for the support