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HUSBAND AND WIFE.
Sec. 1120; See McCarty case, 30
Sec. 1151. WIFE'S PROPERTY EXEMPT FROM HUSBAND'S DEBTS.-All the property, real, personal, and mixed, L. R., 419: 1 D. C. belonging to a woman at the time of her marriage, and bins v. Thomas, 26 all such property which she may acquire or receive after D. C. App., 161; her marriage from any person whomsoever, by purchase, 28 D.C. App., 255; gift, grant, devise, bequest, descent, in the course of 29 Stat., 193; R. S. distribution, by her own skill, labor, or personal exer- D.C., 727. tions, or as proceeds of a judgment at law or decree in equity, or in any other manner, shall be her own property as absolutely as if she were unmarried, and shall be protected from the debts of the husband and shall not in any way be liable for the payment thereof: Provided, That no acquisition of property passing to the wife from the husband after coverture shall be valid if the same has been made or granted to her in prejudice of the rights of his subsisting creditors.
Sec. 1152. HUSBAND MAY CONVEY DIRECTLY TO WIFE.Whenever any interest or estate of any kind in any property, real, personal, or mixed, situate, lying, or being within this District, has been or shall hereafter be sold, conveyed, assigned, mortgaged, leased, transferred, or delivered by any husband directly or indirectly to his wife, and has been or shall hereafter be subsequently sold, conveyed, assigned, mortgaged, leased, transferred, or delivered by such wife and husband during their coverture, or hereafter by such wife solely or by such wife after such coverture has terminated, or shall hereafter be devised or bequeathed by such wife during such coverture or after such coverture has terminated, the fact of such previous sale, conveyance, assignment, mortgage, lease, or delivery by such husband, directly or indirectly, to his wife shall not hereafter be deemed or taken, at law or in equity, to have given, preserved, or reserved, nor to give, preserve, or reserve, to any subsisting creditor of such husband, by reason of any debt or obligation, claim, or demand whatsoever, any other or greater right, lien, or cause of action against such interest or estate, or against any third person, his heirs, executors, administrators, or assigns, than such creditors would have had in case such interest or estate had been sold, conveyed, assigned, mortgaged, leased, transferred or delivered, or devised, or bequeathed by such husband directly to such third person. And the fact of such previous sale, conveyance, assignment, mortgage, lease, or delivery by such husband directly or indirectly to his wife, or the recital thereof in any instrument of writing whatever,
shall not hereafter be deemed or taken, at law or in equity, to give or impart nor to have given or imparted notice to any third person, his heirs, executors, administrators, or assigns of the existence or of the possibility or probability of the existence of any subsisting creditor or creditors of such husband.
Sec. 1153. NO TRUSTEE NECESSARY.-It shall not be necessary for a married woman to have a trustee to secure to her the sole and separate use of her property; but if she desires it she may make a trustee by deed, or she may apply to a court of equity and have a trustee appointed, in which appointment the uses and trusts for which the trustee holds the property shall be declared.
Sec. 1154. PROPERTY OF WIFE.-Married women shall
Bronson v. Brady, 28 D. C. App.,
255, 262; 33 L. R., hold all their property, of every description, for their
821; 175 U. S., 414;
29 Stat., 193.
25 D.C. App., 405; separate use as fully as if they were unmarried, and shall have power to dispose of the same by deed, mortgage, lease, will, gift, or otherwise, as fully as if they were unmarried: Provided, That no disposition of her real or personal property, or any portion thereof, by deed, mortgage, bill of sale, or other conveyance, shall be valid if made by a married woman under twenty-one years of age.
Ib., Thompson v. Thompson, 31
Sec. 1155. PoWER OF WIFE TO TRADE, AND TO SUE AND D. C. App., 558; BE SUED.-Married women shall have power to engage
30 D.C. 511;
28 D.C. App., 149; in any business, and to contract, whether engaged in Dobbins business or not, and to sue separately upon their con
Sec. 1177; ibid, sec. 1155.
Thomas, 26 D. C.
App., 157: 25 D. tracts, and also to sue separately for the recovery,
C. 463; 17
11 D.C. App., 143;
Darneille v. Tuck,
D. C. App., 369; security, or protection of their property, and for torts 18 D.C. App., 293; committed against them, as fully and freely as if they 13 D.C. App., 482. were unmarried; contracts may also be made with them, 33 L. R., 801, 821. and they may also be sued separately upon their contracts, whether made before or during marriage, and for wrongs independent of contract committed by them before or during their marriage, as fully as if they were unmarried, and upon judgments recovered against them execution may be issued as if they were unmarried; nor shall any husband be liable upon any contract made by his wife in her own name and upon her own responsibility, nor for any tort committed separately by her out of his presence without his participation or sanction: Provided, That no married woman shall have power to make any contract as surety or guarantor, or as accommodation drawer, accepter, maker, or indorser.
Sec. 1156. CONTRACTS OF WIFE.-Every contract made by a married woman which she has the power to make shall be deemed to be made with reference to her estate which is made her separate estate by this chapter, and also her equitable separate estate, if any she has, as a source of credit to the extent of her power over the same, unless the contrary intent is expressed in the contract.
Sec. 1157. INFANT FEME COVERT.-In case any married woman entitled to a separate estate as aforesaid shall be an infant under twenty-one years of age, she shall be under the same disabilities in regard thereto as other
infants, except as herein elsewhere provided, and a guardian of said estate shall be appointed.
Sec. 1158. DoWER.-A widow shall be entitled to, Secs. 86,149,1172, 1176; 35 L. R.,685; dower in lands held by equitable as well as legal title in Wilkes v. Wilkes, the husband at any time during the coverture, whether 11 D.C. APP:10; held by him at the time of his death or not, but such 6 D. C. App., 259; right of dower shall not operate to the prejudice of any 2 D.C. App., 207 claim for the purchase money of such lands or other lien on 29 Stat., 193. the same.
28 D.C. 259; 1 D. C. App., 326;
29 D. C. App., 405
16 D. 141;
D. C. App., 400;
Sec. 1159. ESTATE BY THE CURTESY.-On the death of Welch v. Lynch, 30 D.C.App., 122; any married woman owning real estate in fee simple and intestate thereof, if there has been a child born of the marriage capable of inheriting said property, the husband surviving her shall be entitled to an estate by the curtesy therein, whether the wife's estate be legal or equitable and whether the wife's seizin be in deed or in law only.
D. C. App., 305;
1 D. C. 392.
See McCarty case, 20 D.C.App.,
Sec. 1160. ADMINISTRATION OF WIFE'S ESTATE. On the death of any married woman owning real or personal 206; In re estate of estate and intestate thereof, her said estate shall be Harris, 33 L. R.. administered on as if she had been unmarried, and in the 6D, C. App., appointment of her administrator her husband shall be 406; Md. act 1798, entitled to be preferred. After payment of her debts ch. 101, sec. 8. her said personal estate shall be the property of her husband.
290; 33 L. R., 161; 525; 31 D.C.
Sec. 1161. INSURANCE OF HUSBAND'S LIFE.-Any married woman, by herself and in her name, or in the name of any third person, with his assent, as her trustee, may insure or cause to be insured for her sole use, the life of her husband for any definite period or for the term of his natural life; and any husband may cause his own life to be insured for the sole use of his wife, and may also assign any policy of insurance upon his own life to his wife for her sole use; and in case of the wife surviving her husband the sum or net amount of such insurance becoming due and payable by the terms of the insurance shall be payable to her for her own use, free from the claims of the representatives of her husband or any of his creditors.
Sec. 1162. INSURANCE NOT LIABLE FOR HUSBAND'S DEBTS.-All policies of life insurance upon the life of any person which may hereafter mature, and which have been or shall be taken out for the benefit of or bona fide assigned to the wife or children of or any relative dependent upon such person, or any creditor, shall be vested in such wife or children or other relative or creditor, free and clear from all claims of the creditors of such insured person.
Sec. 1163. INSURANCE PAYABLE ON DEATH of wife to CHILDREN.-If the wife shall die before her husband, the amount of such insurance may be payable after her death to the children or descendants for their use, and to their guardian if under age; and if there be no children or descendants of the wife living at the time of her death, to her legal representatives.
Sec. 115b; 28 L. R., 259.
Sec. 1164. RECEIPT OF MARRIED WOMAN.-The receipt of any married woman for the payment of money deposited by her before or after marriage shall be a valid discharge to any individual or corporation making such payment: Provided, That nothing contained in this section shall prevent any creditor of the husband from attaching the same or restraining the payment by injunction if the deposit was made in fraud of his creditors. Sec. 1165. LUNATIC, INSANE, OR PERMANENTLY ABSENT WIFE. Where any married woman is a lunatic or insane, and has been so found upon inquisition, and the said finding remains in force, or where any married woman has been absent or unheard of for seven years, the husband of such lunatic or insane or absent person may grant and convey by his separate deed, whether the same be absolute or by way of lease or mortgage, as fully as if he were unmarried, any real estate which he may have acquired since the finding of such inquisition or since the beginning of such absence.
Sec. 1166. DEBTS OF WIFE BEFORE MARRIAGE.-No husband shall be liable in any manner for any debts of his wife contracted or for any claims or demands of any kind against her arising prior to marriage, but she and her property shall remain liable therefor in the same manner as if the marriage had not taken place.
(Repealed-32 Stat., Part I, p. 542.)
[Sec. 1167. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS AGAINST WIFE.-Proceedings at law or in equity, according to the nature of such debts, claims, or demands, may be taken against such married women, notwithstanding her coverture, in her married name, joining her husband therein as defendant if he be within the District; but no judgment or decree shall pass against the husband or his estate, but such judgment or decree shall be passed against the wife only; and it shall operate only upon her estate held and owned by her prior or subsequent to said marriage.]
[Sec. 1168. POWER OF WIFE TO APPOINT ATTORNEY.-Any married woman against whom any proceeding may be taken under the two preceding sections shall have power to appoint an attorney at law to act for her in such proceeding.]
Sec. 1169. PROCEDURE TO EJECT MARRIED WOMAN WHO IS A TENANT.-In all cases in which a married woman is or shall hereafter be a tenant of real estate in this District, and has defaulted in the payment of rent therefor or has made other default, it shall be lawful for the landlord to make such reentry or bring such action for recovery of the demised premises as he or she might do if the lessee were a feme sole and had contracted for the payment of said rents or the performance of other acts and to suffer such reentry to be made upon default therein.
Sec. 1170. MARRIED WOMAN MAY MAKE COVENANT RUNNING WITH THE LAND.-In all deeds hereafter made to married women of real estate or chattels real it shall be competent for the grantee or lessee to bind herself and her assigns by any covenant running with or relating to said real estate or chattels real the same as if she were a feme sole.
Sec. 1171. EQUITABLE SEPARATE ESTATE.-Nothing contained in the preceding sections of this chapter shall be construed to prevent the creation of equitable separate estates. Said estates shall be held according to the provisions of the respective settlements thereof and shall be subject to and governed by the rules and principles of equity applicable to such estates.
Sec. 1172. DEVISE IN LIEU OF DOWER.-Every devise Sec. 1173. of land or of any estate therein, or bequest of personal estate to the wife of the testator, shall be construed to be intended in bar of her dower in lands or share of the personal estate, respectively, unless it be otherwise expressed in the will.
Sec. 1173. RENUNCIATION OF BEQUEST.-A widow shall be barred of her right of dower in the land or share in the personal estate by any such devise or bequest, unless within six months after administration may be granted on her husband's estate she shall file in the probate court a written renunciation to the following effect:
"I, A B, widow of late of.... deceased, do hereby renounce and quit all claim to any bequest or devise made to me by the last will of my husband exhibited and proved according to law; and I elect to take in lieu thereof my dower or legal share of the estate of my said husband."
But by renouncing all claim to a devise or bequest, or devises or bequests, of personal property, made to her by the will of her husband, she shall be entitled to onethird part of the personal estate of her husband which shall remain after payment of his just debts and claims against him, and no more.
Fields v. Gwynn, 19 D. C. App., 99.
Sec. 1174. DEVISE OF BOTH REALTY AND PERSONALTY. If the will of the husband devise and bequeath a part of both real and personal estate to the wife, she shall renounce the whole or be otherwise barred of her right to both real and personal estate.
See Tucker case, 34 L. R., 261; Md.
act 1798, ch. 101,
Md. act., sec. 3.
Sec. 1175. DEVISE OF EITHER REALTY OR PERSON- Ib., sec. 4. ALTY.-If the will devise only a part of the real estate or bequeath only a part of the personal estate, the devise or bequest shall bar her of only the real or personal estate, as the case may require: Provided, nevertheless, That if the devise of either real or personal estate, or of both, shall be expressly in lieu of her legal share of one or both she shall accordingly be barred, unless she renounce as aforesaid.
Sec. 1176. WHEN NOTHING PASSED BY THE DEVISE.-If, Ib., sec. 5. in effect, nothing shall pass by such devise she shall not be thereby barred, whether she shall or shall not renounce as aforesaid, it being the intent hereof that a widow accepting or abiding by a devise in lieu of her legal right shall be considered a purchaser with a fair consideration.
17 D. C. App., 85.
Sec. 1177. HUSBAND LIABLE FOR WIFE'S ACTS IN CER- C.App., 157: 30 TAIN CASES.-Nothing in this chapter shall be con- D. C. App., 511; strued to relieve the husband from liability for the debts, contracts, or engagements which the wife may incur or enter into upon the credit of her husband, or as his agent, or for necessaries for herself or for his or their children; but as to all such cases his liability shall be or continue as at common law.