Married Women's Property Act


Published: 1887-01-01

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UARRlED WOMEN'S PROPERTY

THE MARRIED WOMEN'S PROPERTY ACT

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

1. Short title.

2. Capacity of manied women.

.3. Property of married women.

4. Abolition of husband's liability for wife's torts and antenuptial
contracts, debts and obligations.

5 . Savings.

6. ~rovisions as to husband.

7. As to stocks, etc., to which a manied woman is entitled.

8. As to stocks, etc., to be transferred, etc., to a married woman.

9. Investments in joint names of manied women and others.

10. As to stock, etc., standing in the joint names of a manied woman and
others.

11. Fraudulent investments with money of husband.

12. [Repealed by Act 30 of l995,, S. 3.1.

13. Criminal proceedings by married woman in respect of her property.

14. Wife's antenuptial debts and liabilities.

15. Acts of wife liable to criminal proceedings.

16. [Repealed by Act 4 of 2004, s .25.1 .

17. [Repealed by Act 4 of 2004, S. 25.1.
. .

18. Married woman as an executrix or trustee.

19. saving of existing settlements and .the power to make future
settlements.

. .

20. Costs may be ordered to be paid out of property subject to restraint on
anticipation.

2 1. Will of married woman.

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MARRIED WOMEN'S PROPERTY

22. Married woman to be liable to the parish for \the maintenance of her
husband.

23. Married woman to be liable to the parish for the maintenance of her
children.

24. Family Court.

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MARRIED WOMEN'S PROPERTY 3

Cap. 239.
Acts

33 of 1969,

THE MARRIED WOMEN'S PROPERTY ACT 11 of 1970,
41 of 1975,
2nd Sch,
30 of 1995
s. 3. [ I st January, 188 7.1 2004 '\
S. 25.

1. This Act may be cited as the ' Married Women's Short title.
Property Act.

2. Subject to the provisions of this Act, a married woman Capacityof
married shall- women.
1111970 (a) be capgble of acquiring, holding and disposing of, any s. 2.

property; and "

(b) be capable of rendering herself, and being rendered,
liable in respect of any tort, contract, debt or
obligation; and

(c) be capable of suing and being sued, either in tort or in
contract or otherwise; and

(d) be subject to the law relating to bankruptcy and to the
enforcement of judgments and orders,

in all respects as if she were a feme sole.

3.-41) Subject to the provisions of this Act all property Propertyof
married which- women.

(a) immediately before the 1st day of June, 1941, was the
separate property of a married woman or held for her
separate use in equity; or

(b) belongs at the time of her marriage to' a woman
married on or after the 1 st day of June, 194 1 ; or

(c) on or after the 1st day of June, 1941, is acquired by or
devolves upon a married woman,

shall belong to her in all respects as if she were a feme sole and
may be disposed of accordingly;

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. W E D WOMEN'S PROPERTY

Provided that nothing in this subsection shall interfere
with or render inoperative any restriction upon anticipation
or alienation attached to the enjoyment of any property by
virtue of any provision attaching such a restriction, contained
in any enactment passed before the 1st day of June, 1941,
o~ in any instrument executed before 1st day of September,
1941.

(2) Any instrument executed on or after the 1st day
of September, 1941, shall, in so far as it purports to attach
to the enjoyment of any propem by a woman any re-
striction upon anticipation or alienation which could not have
been attached to the enjoyment of that property by a man, be
void.

(3) For the purposes of the provisions of this section
relating to restrictions upon anticipation or alienation-

(a), an instrument attaching such a restriction as aforesaid
executed on or after the 1st day of September, 1941,
in pursuance of an obligation imposed before that
date to attach such a restriction shall be deemed to
have been executed before the said 1st day of
September, 1941 ;

(b) a provision contained in an instrument made in
exercise of a special power of appointment shall be
deemed to be contained in that instrument only and
not in the instrument by which the power was created;
and

(c) the will of any testator who dies after the 31st day of
December, 1945, shall (notwithstanding the actual
date of the execution thereof) be deemed to have been
executed after the 1st day of September, 1941.

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MARRIED WOMEN'S PROPERTY

4. Subject to the provisions of this Act, the husband of

5

bolition of
us band's

wife's torts
and ante-
nuptial con-

a married woman shall not, by reason only of his being her lbilityfor
husband, be liable-

(a) in respect of any tort committed by her whether tracts,debts
before or after the marriage, or in respect of any
contract entered into, or debt or obligation
incurred by her before the marriage; or

(b) to be sued, or made a party to any legal proceed-
ing brought, in respect of any such tort, contract,
debt or obligation.

5. Nothing in this Act shall- Savings.
(a) during coverture which began before the 1st day

of January, 1887, affect apy property to which
the title (whether vested or contingent, and whe-
ther in possession, reversion, or remainder) of a
married woman accrued before that date except
property held for her separate use in equity;

(b) affect any legal proceeding in respect of any tort
if proceedings had been instituted in respect thereof
before the 1st day of June, 1941;

(c) enable any judgment or order against a married
woman in respect of a contract entered into, or
debt or obligation incurred, before the 1st day of
June, 1941, to be enforced in bankruptcy or to be
enforced otherwise than against her property.

6. For the avoidance of doubt it is hereby declared that Provisions
as to

nothing in this Act- husband.
(a) renders the husband of a married woman liable

in respect of any contract entered into, or debt or
obligation incurred, by her after the marriage in
respect of which he would not have been liable
if this Act had not been passed;

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6 MARRIED WOMEN’S PROPERTY

(b) exempts the husband of a married woman from
liability in respect of any contract entered into,
or debt or obligation (not being a debt or obliga-
tion arising out of the commission of a tort)
incurred by her after the marriage in respect of
which he would have been liable if this Act had
not been passed;

(c) prevents a husband and wife from acquiring,
holding, and disposing of, any property jointly or
as tenants in common, or from rendering them-
selves, or being rendered, jointly liable in respect
of any tort, contract, debt or obligation, and from
suing or being sued either in tort or in contract or
otherwise, in like manner as if they were not mar-
ried;

(4 prevents the exercise of any joint power given to
a husband and wife.

AS to stocks,

which a

7. All deposits in the Government or other Savings Bank,
or in any other bank, all annuities granted by the Com-
missioners for the reduction of the National Debt or by
any other person, and all sums forming part of the public
stocks or funds of Great Britain or of this Island, 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 on the first day of January, 1887,
are standing in the sole name of a married woman, and all
debentures issued under any enactment of this Island and all
shares, stock, debentures, debenture stock or other interests,
of or in any corporation, company or public body, munici-
pal, commercial or otherwise, or of or in any industrial,
provident, friendly, building or loan, society, which on the
first day of January, 1887, are standing in her name, shalI
be deemed, unless and until the contrary be shown, to be
the property of such married woman; and the fact that any
such deposit, annuity, sum forming part of the public stocks

etc., to

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MARRIED WOMEN’S PROPERTY 7

or funds of Great Britain or of this Island, 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, share, stock, debenture, debenture stock
or other interest as aforesaid, is standing in the sole
name of a married woman, shall be sufficient prima
facie evidence that she is beneficially entitled thereto,
so to authorize 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 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, the Accountant-General of this Island, and all
directors, managers and trustees, of every such bank, cor-
poration, company, public body or society as aforesaid, in
respect thereof.

8. All sums forming part of the public stocks or funds h t o s t o c k s .
of Great Britain or of this Island, or of any other stocks or etc. tradsfmed, to be

eta, to a
funds transferable in the books of the Bank of England married
or of any other bank, and all such deposits and annuities
respectively as are mentioned in the last preceding section,
and all debentures issued under any enactment of this
Island, and all shares, stock, debentures, debenture stock and
other interests of or in any such corporation, company,
public body or society as aforesaid, which from and after the
first day of January, 1887, 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 property
in respect of which, so far as any liability may be incident
thereto, she shall alone be liable:

Provided always that nothing in this Act shall require
or authorize any corporation or joint stock company to
admit any married woman to be holder of any shares or

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t

8 MARRIED WOMEN'S PROPERTY

stock therein to which any liability may be incident,
contrary to the provisions of any enactment of this Island,
Act of the United Kingdom Parliament, charter, by-law,
articles of association or deed of settlement, regulating such
corporation or company.

Investments 9. All the provisions hereinbefore contained as to deposits
names of in any Government or other Savings Bank, or in any other

and bank annuities granted by the Commissioners for the reduc-
Others. tion of the National Debt or by any other person, sums

forming part of the public stocks or funds of Great Britain
or of this Island, or of any other stocks or funds transferable
in the books of the Bank of England or of any other bank,
debentures issued under any enactment of this Island, shares,
stock, debentures, debenture stock or other interests, of or
in any such corporation, company, public body or society,
as aforesaid respectively, which on the first day of January,
1887, 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 on the first day of January, 1887, 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, the name of any married woman jointly with any person
or persons other than her husband.

in joint

married

~ ~ t ~ ~ t ~ ~ k , 10. It shall not be necessary for the husband of any
inginthe married woman, in respect of her interest, to join in the
jointnames transfer of any such annuity or deposit as aforesaid, or any
woman and sum forming part of the public stock or funds of Great

Britain or of this Island, or of any other stocks or funds
transferable as aforesaid, or any debentures, issued under
any enactment of this Island, or any share, stock, debenture,

etc., stand-

of a mamed

others.

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MARRIED WOMEN’S PROPERTY

debenture stock, or other benefit, right, claim or other
interest, of or in any such corporation, company, public
body or society as aforesaid, which is now or shall at any
time hereafter be standing in the sole name of any married
woman, or in the joint names of such married woman and
any other person or persons not being her husband.
11. If any investment in any such deposit Or annuity as Fraudulent

Britain, or of this Island, or in any other stocks or funds ofhusband.
transferable as aforesaid, or in any debenture issued under
any enactment of this Island, or in any share, stock, deben-
ture or debenture stock, of any corporation, company or
public body, municipal, commercial or otherwise, or in any
share, debenture, benefit, right or claim, whatsoever in, to or
upon the funds of any industrial, provident, friendly, build-
ing or loan, society, shall have been made by a married
woman by means of moneys of her husband, without his
consent, the Court may, upon an application under section
16, order such investment, and the dividends thereof, or any
part thereof to be transferred and paid respectively to the
husband, and nothing in this Act contained shall give
validity, as against creditors of the husband, to any gift by a
husband to his wife of any property which after such gift
shall continue to be in the order and disposition or reputed
ownership of the husband, or to any deposit or other invest-
ment of moneys of the husband made by or in the name of
his wife in fraud of his creditors, but any moneys so
deposited or invested may be followed as if this Act had not
passed.

aforesaid, or in any of the public stocks or funds of Great withhmoney invest ents

12, [Repealed by Act 30 of 1995, S. 3.1

13.-(1) A married woman shall have the same remedies ~ ; ~ ~ ~ n g s
and redress by way of criminal proceedings for the protec- bymarried woman in
tion and security of her own property as if she were a feme respect of

her
sole : property.

11/1970
s. 5. heludan of this p~se is tdmrized by L.N. 951 1997

10 MARRIED WOMEN'S PROPERTY

Wife's ante-
nuptial
debts, and
liabilities.

Ads of wife
liable to
criminal
proosedings.

Provided that no criminal proceedings shall be taken by
any wife against her husband by virtue of this section while
they are living together as to or concerning any property
claimed by her, nor while they are living apart as to or
concerning any act done by the husband while they were
living together concerning property claimed by the wife,
unless such property has been wrongfully taken by the
husband when leaving or deserting, or about to leave or
desert, his wife.

(2) In any criminal proceedings taken by virtue of
this section it shall be sufficient to allege that the property
to which such proceedings relate is the property of the wife.

14. A woman after her marriage shall continue to be
liable for all debts contracted, and all contracts entered into
or wrongs committed by her before her marriage, including
any sums for which she may be liable as a contributory,
either before or after she has been placed on the list of
contributories under and by virtue of any laws relating to
joint stock companies, and she may be sued for any such
debt, and for any liability in damages or otherwise under
any such contract, or in respect of any such wrong:

Provided always that nothing in this Act shall operate
to increase or diminish the liability of any woman married
before the first day of January, 1887, for any such debt,
contract or wrong, as aforesaid, except as to any property
to which she may become entitled by virtue of this Act, and
to which she would not have been entitled if this Act had
not passed.

15. A wife doing any act with respect to any property
of her husband which if done by the husband with respect
to property of the wife would make the husband liable to
criminal proceedings by the wife under this Act shall, in
like manner, be liable to criminal proceedings by her
husband.
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MARRIED WOMEN'S PROPERTY 1 1

In any such criminal proceeding against a husband or a wife
as is authorized by this Act, the husband and wife respectively
shall be competent and admissible witnesses, and, except when
defendant, compellable to give evidence.

16. [Repealed by Act 4 of 2004, S. 25.1

17. [Repealed by Act 4 of 2004, S. 25.1

18. A married woman who is an executrix or administra- Married
woman as trix, alone or jointly with any other person or persons, of the anex,,t,,

estate of any deceased person, or a trustee alone or jointly as ortrustee.
aforesaid of property subject to any trust, may sue or be sued,
and may transfer or join in transferring any such annuity or
deposit as aforesaid, or any sum forming part of the public
stocks or funds of Great Britain or this Island, or of any other
stocks or funds transferable as aforesaid, or any debentures
issued under any enactment of this Island, or any share,
stock, debenture, debenture stock or other benefit, right, claim
or other interest, of or in any such corporation, company, public
body or society, in that character, without her husband, as if she
were a feme sole.

19. Nothing in this Act contained shall interfere with or savingof
existing affect any settlement or agreement for a settlement made or to set,,em,,

be made, whether before or after marriage, respecting the andthe
power to property of any married woman, or shall interfere with or render make future

inoperative any restriction against anticipation at present s e n h m m .
attached to the enjoyment of any property or income by a
woman under any settlement, agreement for a settlement, will or
other instrument; but no restriction against anticipation
contained in any settlement or agreement for a settlement of a
woman's own property, to be made or entered into by herself,
shall have any validity against debts contracted by her before
marriage; and no settlement or agreement for a settlement shall
have any greater force or validity against creditors of such
woman than a like settlement or agreement for a settlement
made or entered into by a man would have against his
creditors.

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12 MARRIED WOMEN'S PROPERTY

Costs may
be ordered
to be paid
out o f
P'OPerty
subject to
restraint on
anticipation.

20. In any action or proceeding from and after the twenty-
first day of June, 1895, instituted by a woman or by a
next fiend on her behalf, the court before which such action
or proceeding is pending shall have jurisdiction by judgment
or order from time to time to order payment of the costs of
the opposite party out of property which' is subject to a
restraint on anticipation, and may enforce such payment by
the appointment of a receiver and the sale of the property
or otherwise as may be just.

Will o f
married

21. Section 19 of the Wills Act, which provides that a will
woman. shall take effect as if it were executed immediately before

the death of the testator, shall apply to the will of a married
woman whether she is or is not possessed of, or entitled to, any
property at the time of making it, and such will shall not
require to be re-executed or republished after the death of her
husband.

Married
woman to be
liable to the
parish for
the
maintenance
o f her
husband.
4111975
2nd Sch.

22. Where the husband of any woman having property
becomes chargeable to any parish, the Resident Magistrate
having jurisdiction in such parish may, upon application of
the Inspector of the Poor, issue a summons against the wife,
and make and enforce such order against her for the
maintenance of her husband out of such property as by the
Maintenance Act the Resident Magistrate may make and
enforce against a husband for the maintenance of his wife if
she becomes chargeable to any parish.

Married
woman to be

23. A married woman having property shall be subject to all
liable to the such liability for the maintenance of her children and grand-
parish for children as the husband is now by law subject to for the
the
maintenance maintenance of her children and grandchildren:
o f her
children.

Provided always that nothing in this Act shall relieve her
husband from any liability imposed upon him by law to
maintain her children or grandchildren.

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MARRlED WOMEN'S PROPERTY 13

24. In section 22, any reference to a Resident Magistrate, in Family
so far as it may relate- Court. L.Nn.

149178,
(a) to a Resident Magistrate for the parish of Kmgston or 64/80

for the parish of Saint Andrew, shall, as respects any
time on or after the 13th day of November, 1978, be
construed as a reference to a Judge of the Family
Court--Corporate Area Region; and

(b) to a Resident Magistrate for a parish within the
geographical jurisdiction of a Family Court estab-
lished pursuant to Part I1 of the Judicature (Family
Court) Act, shall, with effect from the date on which
any such Court is established, be construed as a
reference to a Judge of that Family Court.

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