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


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


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.

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