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Rights Of Married Women








Any and all property which a woman owns at her marriage, together with
rents, issues and profits thereof, and the property which comes to her
by descent, devise, bequest, gift or grant, or which she acquires by her
trade, business, labor, or services performed on her separate account,
shall, notwithstanding her marriage, remain her sole and separate
property, and may be used, collected and invested by her in her own
name, and shall not be subject to the interference or control of her
husband, or be liable for his debts, unless for such debts as may have
been contracted for the support of herself or children by her as his
agent.

A married woman may likewise bargain, sell, assign, transfer and convey
such property, and enter into contracts regarding the same on her
separate trade, labor or business with the like effect as if she were
unmarried. Her husband, however, is not liable for such contracts, and
they do not render him or his property in any way liable therefor. She
may also sue and be sued in all matters having relation to her sale and
separate property in the same manner as if she were sole.

In the following cases a married woman's contract may be enforced
against her and her separate estate: 1. When the contract is created in
or respecting the carrying on of the trade or business of the wife. 2.
When it relates to or is made for the sole benefit of her sole or
separate estate. 3. When the intention to charge the separate estate is
expressed in the contract creating the liability.

When a husband receives a principal sum of money belonging to his wife,
the law presumes he receives it for her use, and he must account for it,
or expend it on her account by her authority or direction, or that she
gave it to him as a gift. If he receives interest or income and spends
it with her knowledge and without objection, a gift will be presumed
from acquiescence.

Money received by a husband from his wife and expended by him, under her
direction, on his land, in improving the home of the family, is a gift,
and cannot be recovered by the wife, or reclaimed, or an account
demanded.

An appropriation by a wife, herself, of her separate property to the use
and benefit of her husband, in the absence of all agreement to repay, or
any circumstances from which such an agreement can be inferred, will not
create the relation of debtor and creditor, nor render the husband
liable to account.

Though no words of gift be spoken, a gift by a wife to her husband may
be shown by the very nature of the transaction, or appear from the
attending circumstances.

A wife who causelessly deserts her husband is not entitled to the aid of
a court of equity in getting possession of such chattels as she has
contributed to the furnishing and adornment of her husband's house. Her
legal title remains, and she could convey her interest to a third party
by sale, and said party would have a good title, unless her husband
should prove a gift.

Wife's property is not liable to a lien of a sub-contractor for
materials furnished to the husband for the erection of a building
thereon, where it is not shown that the wife was notified of the
intention to furnish the materials, or a settlement made with the
contractor and given to the wife, her agent or trustee.

The common law of the United States has some curious provisions
regarding the rights of married women, though in all the States there
are statutory provisions essentially modifying this law. As it now
stands the husband is responsible for necessaries supplied to the wife
even should he not fail to supply them himself, and is held liable if he
turn her from his house, or otherwise separates himself from her without
good cause. He is not held liable if the wife deserts him, or if he
turns her away for good cause. If she leaves him through good cause,
then he is liable. If a man lives with a woman as his wife, and so
represents her, even though this representation is made to one who knows
she is not, he is liable the same way as if she were his wife.





Next: The Law Of Finding

Previous: Marriage And Divorce



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