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erty of the wife is exempt from liability for her husband's debts contracted before marriage. Otherwise, her general personal property, whether acquired before marriage or after, becomes, after being reduced to possession by the husband, his property, and is subject to his debts, contracts, and disposition as his own, but property owned by her at marriage or afterwards acquired by devise or descent is liable first to her creditors. He is not liable for her antenuptial contracts. Her separate property is not liable for his debts otherwise than as authorized in the instrument under which she acquired it. She cannot contract to sell her real estate, but may convey it jointly with her husband on private examination, and may convey without him, subject to his curtesy. If living apart from her husband she may dispose of her lands as an unmarried woman. Her separate property she can dispose of by deed or will, as though unmarried, unless the power of dispo sition is expressly withheld. Her separate property is not liable for her support or that of her children unless she expressly consent. Generally the wife, as at common law, has no power to bind herself or her property by contract, but she is liable as though unmarried for debts contracted in any mercantile or manufacturing business in which she may be engaged. If husband or wife effect insurance on his life, upon his death the money goes to his wife and children, free from his debts.
The marriage of a female minor gives her all the rights she would have if of age. All property acquired by either party before marriage, or by gift, devise, or descent afterwards, is the separate property of each. Property acquired by either during marriage in other ways is common; the husband only may dispose of it during coverture. If there are no children the whole goes to the survivor, otherwise one-half. The wife has sole management and control of her separate property and of her personal earnings, rents from real estate, interest on bonds and notes and dividends on stock, and they are not subject to his debts, but husband must join in conveyances of real estate and transfer of her stocks and bonds. If he refuse to join she may obtain leave of court to act alone. Neither his separate property nor the community property, except as above, is subject to her debts, except for necessaries for her or her children. Marriage agreements must be made before a notary, and may be acknowledged by a minor, with the parent's or guardian's consent, and are unalterable after marriage. A reservation of property therein to be good must be recorded. On the death of either the survivor takes the common property, subject to its debts, nor is it necessary for the husband to administer on such property on her death, as he has the same control of then that he had in her lifetime. In case of his death she has the same control till she marries, when it will be subject to administration. Dower is abolished. Husband may be compelled to give bonds for the proper management of the common property. A married woman cannot contract as a partner in business or embark her separate means in trade, nor can she join in note or be surety on bond without her husband.
All property owned by either husband or wife, whether acquired before or after marriage, is separate property and may be held and disposed of without limitation or restriction by reason of coverture. A married woman may carry on business with her separate property, and her notes and contracts in reference to such business are binding on her. She may make a will, as if sole. Dower and curtesy are abolished. Majority at age of eighteen.
The real estate of a married woman, and the rents, issues, and products thereof, and, during coverture, her husband's interest in the same, cannot be levied upon for the sole debts of the husband, except that such annual products may be taken for debts created for necessaries for his wife and family, or for labor or materials furnished upon, or for cultivation or improvement of such real estate. A married woman's separate property, whether acquired before or after marriage, is not liable for her husband's debts, or for debts contracted for the support of herself or children. All personal property acquired by a married woman during coverture by inheritance or distribution is held to her sole and separate use. Her earnings are not subject to attachment by trustee process for her husband's debts. The husband must join in conveyance of her real estate. Dower is allowed only in real estate of which the husband died seized. She may make contracts with any person except her husband, and her separate estate is liable therefor. Females become of age at eighteen. A married woman may dispose of her property, real and personal, by will. A married woman may be guardian, executrix, administratrix, or trustee.
All real and personal estate to which any woman is entitled at the time of her marriage, or which she may subsequently acquire, is her separate estate, not subject to the use, control, or disposal of her husband, or to liability for his debts. She may manage and dispose of her property as if sole, except that she cannot deprive her husband of his right to curtesy in her real estate. She may engage in trade and carry on business as if unmarried, and the proceeds of her labor and earnings of her business are her separate property. She may make contracts and sue and be sued thereon as though unmarried, and any judgment against her may be enforced against her separate .
Her contracts in refcrence to her separate estate, business, or labor are not binding upon her husband or his estate, and when married after March 31, 1875, he is not liable for her antenuptial debts. Every contract made by a married woman is presumed to be with reference to her separate estate and binding thereon. If husband wilfully abandons or deserts his wife, and such abandonment or desertion continues until her death, he loses all rights in her separate estate.
All property, real and personal, owned by the husband or wife before marriage, and that acquired afterwards by gift, devise, or descent, is separate property. All property acquired during marriage, except by gift, devise, or descent, is their common property. The husband has the management and control of the community property and may dispose of the personal property, but cannot sell or encumber the real estate unless the wife joins. They may convey their respective interests in common property directly to each other. A married woman may contract, and sue and be sued, as though unmarried. All laws imposing civil disabilities on the wife which are not imposed also upon the husband are abolished. The rights of both parents to the care and custody of children are equal. Dower and curtesy are abolished. A woman is of full age at the age of eighteen.
In WEST VIRGINIA, the real and personal property of a married woman acquired from any person other than her husband is secured to her separate use, free from the control or debts of her husband. And her earnings, and the real and personal property purchased with the proceeds thereof, remain her separate property free from his control or debts. If living separate and apart from her husband, she may convey her property, otherwise if the property be real estate, her husband must join in the deed. She may insure her husband's life for her own benefit, provided the premium does not exceed one hundred and fifty dollars. She may hold and enjoy patents for her inventions; may make deposits in the bank; may hold stock in corporations (other than mutual fire insurance companies), and vote on the same. Her husband is liable for her debts contracted before marriage only to the extent of the property received by him through her. She may sue and be sued alone in regard to her separate estate. If living apart from her husband she may carry on business in her own name and the capital and profits of such business are her separate property.
The real and personal property of the wife at the time of marriage, and the income thereof, and any which she may receive by inheritance, gift, grant, devise, or bequest from any person other than her husband, is her separate property, not subject to the disposal of the husband, or liable for his debts. She may convey her property, real or personal, as if unmarried, and her husband need not join in her deed, but will, notwithstanding, be barred of any right of curtesy. A deed or mortgage of the homestead is void without ber signature. The wife's individual earnings are her separate property. A policy of insurance for the benefit of a married woman inures to her sole and separate use and that of her children. Her separate estate is liable for debts contracted by her on its credit, but is not liable for family expenses except by express contract. She may dispose of her separate estate in all respects as an unmarried woman, and may deal with her husband in reference to such estate in the same manner as with a stranger. Women become of age at twenty-one, but may make a will and bar dower at eighteen.
The rights of a married woman in respect to her property are nearly the same as though she were unmarried. She may make a will, sue and be sued, make contracts, carry on business, retain her own earnings, hold and convey property, real and personal, free from the control or interference of her husband, and from liability for his debts. She may hold office and vote at elections. She cannot, however, be appointed administratrix. Dower and curtesy are abolished.
In the provinces of the Dominion, generally, a married woman holds all her property and earnings free from the control of her husband. It is liable for her debts before marriage, and her husband is not. She may manage it and bequeath it. She is entitled to dower, but there is no tenancy by curtesy. In the Province of Quebec the law is modified by the French law. There all the personal property and gains of both parties are put together and form the community property, which the husband administers. Each can bequeath only his or her interest, and the heirs of each inherit the interest of each.
For Statutes of Hawaii, the Philippines and Porto Rico see Appendix.
It should be added, that the wife may everywhere even by common law be the agent of the husband, and transact for him his business transactions, making, accepting, or indorsing bills or notes, purchasing goods, rendering bills, collecting money and receipting for it, and in general entering into any contract so as to bind him, if she has his authority to do so. And while they continue to live together, the law considers the wife as clothed with authority by the husband to buy for him and his family all things necessary in kind and quantity for the proper support of his family; and for such purchases made by her, he is liable.
The husband is responsible for necessaries supplied to his wife, if he does not supply them himself. And he continues so liable if he turns her out of his house, or otherwise separates himself from her, without good cause. But he is not so liable if she deserts him (unless 'on extreme provocation), or if he turns her away for good cause.
If she leaves him because he treats her so ill that she has good right to go from him and his house, this is the same thing as turning her away; and she carries with her his credit for all necessaries supplied to her. But what the misconduct must be to give this right, is uncertain. Some English cases are very severe on this point. In one, a husband brought a prostitute into his house, and confined his wife to her own room under pretence of her insanity. But the court held this to be insuffi. cient. The Supreme Court of New York, in commenting upon this case, said that “the doctrine contained in it cannot be law in a Christian country." In America the law must be, and undoubtedly is, that the wife is not obliged to stay and endure cruelty or indecency. It
may be added, that if a man lives with a woman as his wife, and represents her to be so, he is liable for necessaries supplied to her, and for her contracts, in the same way as if she were his wife; and this even to one who knows that she is not his wife.
The statutes of which we have given an abstract are intended to secure to a married woman all her rights. But in all parts
of this country, women about to marry-or their friends for them—often wish to secure to them certain powers and rights, and to limit these in certain ways, or to make sure that their property is in safe and skilful hands. This can only be done by conveying and transferring the property to TRUSTEES; that is, to certain persons to hold the same in trust. This is done by a legal instrument, which is almost always an Indenture; by. which is meant an instrument under seal between two or more parties. This instrument must set forth precisely, and with legal accuracy, just what the trust is; that is to say, just what the trustees, or the woman, or her husband may do, and just what they must do. This is one of those instruments which require peculiar care and exactness. We give as models, or forms, two, differing in their terms and purposes.
Both were drawn by very skilful lawyers, and with such changes, of omission or addition or alteration, as the circumstances of any case or the wishes of the parties make necessary, will be useful and safe guides in the preparation of such instruments.
(4.) An Indenture to put in Trust the Property of an Unmarried
by and between
of the second part, Witnesseth, That the said party of the first part is seized and possessed of certain real and personal estate, to wit, one undivided moiety of the reversion in and of a messuage and land in bounded as follows:
a mortgage of a lot of land bounded on Street, and described in the deed of
which is recorded in the Registry of Deeds, lib. fol. ; a mortgage of a lot of land bounded on Street, and described in the deed of
recorded in the said Registry, lib.
; a mortgage of two lots of land bounded on Street, and described in the deed of
to recorded in the said Registry, lib. fol.
; a mortgage of a lot of land bounded on Street, and described in the deed of
to recorded in the Registry aforesaid, lib. fol. ; one hundred shares in the capital stock of the
; twenty-five shares in the capital stock of the Bank in ; and fifty shares in the