MATRIMONIAL RIGHTS AND INHERITANCE ordinance

Arrangement of Sections

1. Short title.

2. Where persons of different races or nationalities intermarry, laws to which the husband is subject to prevail Ordinance not otherwise to apply to Kandyans or Muslims or Tamils under the Tesawalamai.

3. Interpretation.

PART II

MATRIMONIAL RIGHTS OF HUSBAND AND WIFE IN RESPECT OF PROPERTY

4. This Ordinance not to affect rights acquired under marriages solemnized before the proclamation of this Ordinance.

5. Rights of husband and wife domiciled or resident in Sri Lanka in respect of movable property to be governed by this Ordinance.

6. Rights of husband and wife in respect of immovable property situate in Sri Lanka to be governed by this Ordinance.

7. Community of goods not a consequence of marriage.

8. Immovable property of the wife.

9. Wages and earnings of the wife.

10. Wife's jewels, implements of trade and agriculture, to form part of her separate estate.

11. When husband's consent may dispensed with.

12. Power of spouses to settle or gift property during marriage.

13. Burden of proof on the wife.

14. Disputes between husband and wife as to wife's estate to be settled summarily by Family Court.

15. Wife may effect a policy of insurance.

16. Husband may insure his life for the benefit of his family.

17. All other movable property of the wife to vest in the husband.

18. Wife with separate property liable for the maintenance of her children.

19. Article 6 of Placaat of Charles V of 1540 declared to have no operation in Sri Lanka.

PART III

INHERITANCE

20. Following sections to whom applicable.

21. Inheritance to immovable property in Sri Lanka to be governed by this Ordinance.

22. Surviving spouse inherits one-half.

23. Order of devolution of property.

24. Preferential right of children.

25. When descendants fail.

26. In case of parents failing.

27. Division in case of half-brothers and sisters.

28. When full brothers and their children fail.

29. In case there are only half-brothers on one side.

30. Where all who succeed are equally near in degree.

31. All persons above enumerated failing.

32. All persons above enumerated failing, surviving spouse takes.

33. Illegitimate children.

34. On failure of heirs estate escheats to State.

35. Collation by children or grandchildren.

36. The rules of the Roman-Dutch law as it prevailed in North Holland to be followed where Ordinance is silent.

SI 15 of 1876,

SI 2 of 1889,

SI 18 of 1923.

AN ORDINANCE to amend the law relating to the Matrimonial Rights of married persons with regard to property and the law of Inheritance.

[Date of Commencement: 29th June, 1877]

PART I

PRELIMINARY

1. Short title.

This Ordinance may be cited as the Matrimonial Rights and Inheritance Ordinance1.

2. Where persons of different races or nationalities intermarry, laws to which the husband is subject to prevail. Ordinance not otherwise to apply to Kandyans or Muslims or Tamils under the Tesawalamai.

Whenever a woman marries, after the proclamation of this Ordinance, a man of different race or nationality from her own, she shall be taken to be of the same race and nationality as her husband for all the purposes of this Ordinance, so long as the marriage subsists and until she marries again. Save as aforesaid, this Ordinance shall not apply to Kandyans or Muslims, or to Tamils of the Northern Province who are or may become subject to the Tesawalamai.

3. Interpretation.

In this Ordinance, unless the context otherwise requires—

"immovable property” includes land, incorporeal tenements, 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 mortgagee;

" matrimonial rights” means the respective rights and powers of married parties in and about the management, control, disposition, and alienation of property belonging to either party, or to which either party may be entitled during marriage;

"movable property” means property of every description except immovable property;

"unmarried” means not having a husband or wife living; all words expressive of relationship shall apply to a child in the womb at the time in question who is afterwards born alive.

PART II

MATRIMONIAL RIGHTS OF HUSBAND AND WIFE IN RESPECT OF PROPERTY

24. This Ordinance not to affect rights acquired under marriages solemnized before the proclamation of this Ordinance.

The respective matrimonial rights of any husband and wife with regard to property or status arising under or by virtue of any marriage solemnized before the proclamation of this Ordinance, and all rights which any other person may have acquired or become entitled to under or by virtue of any such marriage, shall (except where hereinafter otherwise expressly provided) be governed by such law as would have been applicable thereto if this Ordinance had not been passed.

5. Rights of husband and wife domiciled or resident in Sri Lanka in respect of movable property to be governed by this Ordinance.

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