HUSBAND. A man who has a wife. - Steven J. Coker
Subject: HUSBAND. A man who has a wife.
From: Steven J. Coker
Date: September 24, 1998

Extracted From:
   by John Bouvier

HUSBAND, domestic relations. A man who has a wife. 
   The husband, as such, is liable to certain obligations, and entitled to
certain rights, which will be here briefly considered. 
   First, of his obligations. He is bound to receive his wife at his home, and
should furnish her with all the necessaries and conveniences which his fortune
enables him to do, and which her situation requires; but this does not include
such luxuries as, according to her fancy, she deems necessaries; vide article
Cruelty, where this matter is considered. He is bound to love his wife, and to
bear with her faults, and, if possible, by mild means to correct them and he is
required to fulfill towards her his marital promise of fidelity, and can,
therefore, have no carnal connexion with any other woman, without a violation of
his obligations. As he is bound to govern his house properly, he is liable for
its misgovernment, and he may be punished for keeping a disorderly house, even
where his wife had the principal agency, and he is liable for her torts, as for
her slander or trespass. He is also liable for the wife's debts, incurred before
coverture, provided they are recovered from him during their joint lives; and
generally for such as are contracted by her after coverture, for necessaries, or
by his authority, express or implied. See 5 Whart. 395; 5 Binn. 235; 1 Mod. 138;
5 Taunt. 356; 7 T. R. 166; 3 Camp. 27; 3 B. & Cr. 631; 5 W. & S. 164. 
   Secondly, of his rights. Being the head of the family, the husband has a
right to establish himself wherever he may please, and in this he cannot be
controlled by his wife; he may manage his affairs his own way; buy and sell all
kinds of personal property, without any control, and he may buy any real estate
he may deem proper, but, as the wife acquires a right in the latter, he cannot
sell it, discharged of her dower, except by her consent, expressed in the manner
prescribed by the laws of the state where such lands lie. At common law, all her
personal property, in possession, is vested in him, and he may dispose of it as
if he had acquired it by his own contract this arises from the principle that
they are considered one person in law; 2 Bl. Com. 433 and he is entitled to all
her property in action, provided he reduces it to possession during her life.
Id. 484. He is also entitled to her chattels real, but these vest in him not
absolutely, but sub modo; as, in the case of a lease for years, the husband is
entitled to receive the rents and profits of it, and may, if he pleases, sell,
surrender, or dispose of it during the coverture, and it is liable to be taken
in execution for his debts and, if he survives her, it is, to all intents and
purposes, his own. In case his wife survives him, it is considered as if it had
never been transferred from her, and it belongs to her alone. In his wife's
freehold estate, he has a life estate, during the joint lives of himself and
wife; and, at common law, when he has a child by her who could inherit, he has
an estate by the curtesy. But the rights of a husband over the wife's property,
are very much abridged in some of the United States, by statutes. See Act of
Pennsylvania, passed April 11, 1848. 
   The laws of Louisiana differ essentially from those of the other states, as
to the rights and duties of husband and wife, particularly as it regards their
property. Those readers, desirous of knowing, the legislative regulations on
this subject, in that state, are referred to the Civil Code of Louis. B. 1, tit.
4; B. 3, tit. 6. 
   Vide, generally, articles Divorce; Marriage; Wife; and Bac. Ab. Baron and
Feme; Rop. H. & W.; Prater on H. & W.; Clancy on the Rights, Duties and
Liabilities of Husband and Wife Canning on the Interest of Husband and Wife,
&c.; 1 Phil. Ev. 63; Woodf. L. & T. 75; 2 Kent, Com. 109; 1 Salk. 113 to 119;
Yelv. 106a, 156a, 166a; Vern. by Raithby, 7, 17, 48, 261; Chit. Pr. Index, h.t.
Poth. du Contr. de Mar. n. 379; Bouv. Inst. Index, h.t. 

WIDOWER. A man whose wife is dead. A widower has a right to administer to his
wife's separate estate, and as her administrator to collect debts due to her,
generally for his own use.

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