MARRIED WOMEN'S PROPERTY ORDINANCE

Arrangement of Sections

1. Short title.

2. Interpretation.

3. On intermarriage of persons of different races, or nationalities, laws to which husband subject to prevail; Ordinance not otherwise to apply to, Kandyans, Muslims, or Tamils under the Tesawalamai, or persons married in community.

4. Repeal of sections 4 to 19 of the Matrimonial Rights and Inheritance Ordinance.

5. Married woman to be capable of holding property and of contracting as if unmarried.

6. Will of married woman.

7. Property of a woman married after the Ordinance to be held by her as a feme-sole.

8. Loans by wife to husband.

9. Execution of general power.

10. Property acquired after the Ordinance by a woman married before the Ordinance to be held by her as if unmarried.

11. Sums secured by mortgages executed before commencement of Ordinance in favour of married women.

12. As to deposit in bank, public stocks, to which a married woman is entitled.

13. As to deposit in bank, public stocks, to be transferred, to a married woman.

14. Investments in joint names of a married woman and others.

15. As to stock, standing in the joint names of a married woman and others.

16. Fraudulent investments with money of husband.

17. Moneys payable under policy of insurance.

18. Remedies of a married woman for protection and security of separate property.

19. Wife's ante-nuptial debts and liabilities.

20. Limit of husband's liability for his wife's debts or liabilities contracted before marriage.

21. Suits for ante-nuptial liabilities.

22. When wife is liable to criminal proceedings in respect of act done with respect to husband's property.

23. Questions between husband and wife as to property to be decided in a summary way.

24. Married woman as trustee, executrix, or administrator

25. Saving of existing settlements, and the power to make future settlements.

26. Married woman to be liable for the maintenance of her husband.

27. A married woman with separate property liable for the maintenance of her children.

28. Liability of executor or administrator of married woman.

29. Abrogation of certain laws.

SI 18 of 1923.

AN ORDINANCE to amend and consolidate the law relating to the property of married women.

[Date of Commencement: 1st July, 1924]

1. Short title.

This Ordinance may be cited as the Married Women's Property Ordinance.1

2. Interpretation.

In this Ordinance, unless the context otherwise requires—

"contract” includes the acceptance of any trust or of the office of executrix or administrator, and the provisions of this Ordinance as to liabilities of married women shall extend to all liabilities by reason of any breach of trust or devastavit committed by any married woman being a trustee or executrix or administrator either before or after her marriage, and her husband shall not be subject to such liabilities, unless he has acted or intermeddled in the trust or administration—

"immovable property” includes land, incorporeal here determents and things attached to the earth or permanently fastened to anything which is attached to the earth, and any interest in land except that of a mortgage;

"movable property” means property of every description, except immovable property, and includes a thing in action.

3. On intermarriage of persons of different races, or nationalities, laws to which husband subject to prevail; Ordinance not otherwise to apply to, Kandyans, Muslims, or Tamils under the Tesawalamai, or persons married in community.

(1) Whenever a woman marries, after the commencement of this Ordinance, a man of different race or nationality from her own, she shall, subject to the provisions of section 3 of the Jaffna Matrimonial Rights and Inheritance Ordinance, and of the Kandyan Marriage and Divorce Act, be taken to be of the same race or nationality as her husband for all the purposes of this Ordinance, so long as the marriage subsists and until she marries again.

(2) Save as aforesaid, this Ordinance shall not apply to Kandyans, Muslims, or Tamils of the Northern Province who are or may become subject to the Tesawalamai.

(3) This Ordinance shall not, during the subsistence of such marriages, apply to women married in community of property prior to the 29th day of June, 1877.

4. Repeal of sections 4 to 19 of the Matrimonial Rights and Inheritance Ordinance.

Sections 4 to 19 (both inclusive) of the Matrimonial Rights and Inheritance Ordinance are hereby repealed in so far as they relate to persons married on or after the 29th day of June, 1877:

Provided, however, that such repeal shall not affect any act done or right or status acquired while such sections were in force, or any right or liability of any husband or wife, married before the commencement of this Ordinance, to sue or be sued under the provisions of the said repealed sections, for or in respect of any debt, contract, wrong, or other matter or thing whatsoever, for or in respect of which any such right or liability shall have accrued to or against such husband or wife before the commencement of this Ordinance.

5. Married woman to be capable of holding property and of contracting as if unmarried.

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

(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; nor shall he be liable, merely on the ground that he is her husband, in respect of any tort committed by 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) Every contract hereafter entered into by a married woman otherwise than as agent—

(a) shall be deemed to be a contract entered into by her with respect to and to bind her separate property whether she is or is not in fact possessed of or entitled to any separate property at the time when she enters into such contract;

(b) shall bind all separate property which she may at that time or thereafter be possessed of or entitled to; and

(c) shall also be enforceable by process of law against all property which she may thereafter while discover to be possessed of or entitled to.

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