Married Women's Property Act 1882

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1882 c. 75


Married Women's Property Act, 1882

(45 & 46 Vict.) CHAPTER 75.

An Act to consolidate and amend the Acts relating to the Property of Married Women.

[18th August 1882]

W HEREAS it is expedient to consolidate and amend the Act of the thirty-third and thirty-fourth Victoria, chapter ninety-three, intituled ‘The Married Women's Property Act, 1870,’ and the Act of the thirty-seventh and thirty-eighth Victoria, chapter fifty, intituled ‘An Act to amend the Married Women's Property Act (1870)’:

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

S-1 Married woman to be capable of holding property and of contracting as a feme sole.

1 Married woman to be capable of holding property and of contracting as a feme sole.

(1)1. (1.) A married woman shall, in accordance with the provisions of this Act, be capable of acquiring, holding, and disposing by will or otherwise, of any real or personal property as her separate property, in the same manner as if she were a feme sole, without the intervention of any trustee.

(2) (2.) A married woman shall be capable of entering into and rendering herself liable in respect of and to the extent of her separate property on any contract, and of suing and being sued, either in contract or in tort, or otherwise, in all respects as if she were a feme sole, and her husband need not be joined with her as plaintiff or defendant, or be made a party to any action or other legal proceeding brought by or taken against her; and any damages or costs recovered by her in any such action or proceeding shall be her separate property; and any damages or costs recovered against her in any such action or proceeding shall be payable out of her separate property, and not otherwise.

(3) (3.) Every contract entered into by a married woman shall be deemed to be a contract entered into by her with respect to and to bind her separate property, unless the contrary be shown.

(4) (4.) Every contract entered into by a married woman with respect to and to bind her separate property shall bind not only the separate property which she is possessed of or entitled to at the date of the contract, but also all separate property which she may thereafter acquire.

(5) (5.) Every married woman carrying on a trade separately from her husband shall, in respect of her separate property, be subject to the bankruptcy laws in the same way as if she were a feme sole.

S-2 Property of a woman married after the Act to be held by her as a feme sole.

2 Property of a woman married after the Act to be held by her as a feme sole.

2. Every woman who marries after the commencement of this Act shall be entitled to have and to hold as her separate property and to dispose of in manner aforesaid all real and personal property which shall belong to her at the time of marriage, or shall be acquired by or devolve upon her after marriage, including any wages, earnings, money, and property gained or acquired by her in any employment, trade, or occupation in which she is engaged, or which she carries on separately from her husband, or by the exercise of any literary, artistic, or scientific skill.

S-3 Loans by wife to husband.

3 Loans by wife to husband.

3. Any money or other estate of the wife lent or entrusted by her to her husband for the purpose of any trade or business carried on by him, or otherwise, shall be treated as assets of her husband's estate in case of his bankruptcy, under reservation of the wife's claim to a dividend as a creditor for the amount or value of such money or other estate after, but not before, all claims of the other creditors of the husband for valuable consideration in money or money's worth have been satisfied.

S-4 Execution of general power.

4 Execution of general power.

4. The execution of a general power by will by a married woman shall have the effect of making the property appointed liable for her debts and other liabilities in the same manner as her separate estate is made liable under this Act.

S-5 Property acquired after the Act by a woman married before the Act to be held by her as a feme sole.

5 Property acquired after the Act by a woman married before the Act to be held by her as a feme sole.

5. Every woman married before the commencement of this Act shall be entitled to have and to hold and to dispose of in manner aforesaid as her separate property all real and personal property, her title to which, whether vested or contingent, and whether in possession, reversion, or remainder, shall accrue after the commencement of this Act, including any wages, earnings, money, and property so gained or acquired by her as aforesaid.

S-6 As to stock, &c. to which a married woman is entitled.

6 As to stock, &c. to which a married woman is entitled.

6. All deposits in any post office or other savings bank, or in any other bank, all annuities granted by the Commissioners for the Reduction of the National Debt or by any other person, and all sums forming part of the public stocks or funds, or of any other stocks or funds transferable in the books of the Governor and Company of the Bank of England, or of any other bank, which at the commencement of this Act are standing in the sole name of a married woman, and all shares, stock, debentures, debenture stock, or other interests of or in any corporation, company, or public body, municipal, commercial, or otherwise, or of or in any industrial provident, friendly, benefit, building, or loan society, which at the commencement of this Act are standing in her name, shall be, deemed, unless and until the contrary be shown, to be the separate property of such married woman; and the fact that any such deposit, annuity, sum forming part of the public stocks or funds, or of any other stocks or funds transferable in the books of the Governor and Company of the Bank of England or of an other bank, share, stock, debenture, debenture stock, or other interest as aforesaid, is standing in the sole name of a married woman, shall be sufficient prim facie evidence that she is beneficially entitled thereto for her separate use, so as to authorise and empower her to receive or transfer the same, and to receive the dividends, interest, and profits thereof, without the concurrence of her husband, and to indemnify the Postmaster General, the Commissioners for the Reduction of the National Debt, the Governor and Company of the Bank of England, the Governor and Company of the Bank of Ireland, and all directors, managers, and trustees of every such bank, corporation, company, public body, or society as aforesaid, in respect thereof.

S-7 As to stock, &c. to be transferred, &c. to a married woman.

7 As to stock, &c. to be transferred, &c. to a married woman.

7. All sums forming part of the public stocks or funds, or of any other stocks or funds transferable in the books of the Bank of England or of any other bank, and all such deposits and annuities respectively as are mentioned in the last preceding section, and all shares, stock, debentures, debenture stock, and other interests of or in any such corporation, company, public body, or society as aforesaid, which after the commencement of this Act shall be allotted to or placed, registered, or transferred in or into or made to stand in the sole name of any married woman shall be deemed, unless and until the contrary be shown, to be her separate property, in respect of which so far as any liability may be incident thereto her separate estate shall alone be liable, whether the same shall be so expressed in the document whereby her title to the same is created or certified, or in the books or register wherein her title is entered or recorded, or not.

Provided always, that nothing in this Act shall require or authorise any corporation or joint stock company to admit any married woman to be a holder of any shares or stock therein to which any liability may be incident, contrary to the provisions of any Act of Parliament, charter, byelaw, articles of association, or deed of settlement regulating such corporation or company.

S-8 Investments in joint names of married women and others.

8 Investments in joint names of married women and others.

8. All the provisions herein-before contained as to deposits in any post office or other savings bank, or in any other bank, annuities granted by the Commissioners for the Reduction of the National Debt or by any other person, sums forming part of the public stocks or funds, or of any other stocks or funds transferable in the books of the Bank of England or of any other bank, shares, stock, debentures, debenture stock, or other interests of or in any such corporation, company, public body, or society as aforesaid respectively, which at the commencement of this Act shall be standing in the sole name of a married woman, or which, after that time, shall be allotted to, or placed, registered, or transferred to or into, or made to stand in, the sole name of a married woman, shall respectively extend and apply, so far as relates to the estate, right, title, or interest of the married woman, to any of the particulars aforesaid which, at the commencement of this Act, or at any time afterwards, shall be standing in, or shall be allotted to, placed, registered, or transferred to or into, or made to stand in...

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