This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
(1) Some statutes create a separate estate and give a married woman power to make contracts for the benefit of such estate.1 Under such statute a married woman is liable on her contracts which fairly tend to benefit her separate estate. Thus a married woman is liable for the wages of a laborer working on her farm, though originally employed by her husband,2 or on a contract that the report of the appraisers as to the amount of loss to her insured property shall be final ;3 or on a loan made to her ;4 or on a debt incurred by her in her business.5 She is not liable on her contracts not for the benefit of her separate estate under these statutes. Thus she is not liable on a covenant of general warranty in a deed conveying her husband's realty which she executes to release her dower,6 nor on a judgment note not given for the benefit of her separate estate,7 nor for a note given for realty8 or personalty0 transferred to herself and her husband together; nor for a contract concerning land leased to her husband though afterwards sold to her ;10 nor on a contract between herself and her husband on one side and a third person on the other for repairing property owned by the husband and wife jointly,11 nor for a contract of suretyship,12 nor for a subscription toward the erecting of a chamber of commerce building, though her realty might possibly be advanced in price thereby,13 nor on a mortgage to secure payment of agricultural supplies furnished to other persons joining in the mortgage, to be used in cultivating land which is hers in part,14 nor on a contract to pay her sister's board.15 Outside of her separate estate these statutes confer no power to contract.16
5 McCollum v. Boughton, 132 Mo. 601; 35 L. R. A. 480; 30 S. W. 1028; 33 S. W. 476; denying rehearing, 130 Mo. 617; 35 L. R. A. 487; 34 S. W. 480.
1 Robertson v. Robertson (Ky.), 72 S. W. 813; Ring v. Burt, 17 Mich. 465; 97 Am. Dec. 200; Rus-sel v. Bank, 39 Mich. 671; 33 Am. Rep. 444; Mosher v. Kittle, 101 Mich. 345; 59 N. W. 497; Detroit Chamber of Commerce v. Goodman, 110 Mich. 498; 35 L. R. A. 96; 68 N. W. 295; Edison v. Babka, 111 Mich. 235; 69 N. W. 499; Caldwell v. Jones, 115 Mich. 129; 73 N. W.
129; Doane v. Feather, 119 Mich. 691; 78 N. W. 884.
2 Mosher v. Kittle, 101 Mich. 345; 59 N. W. 497.
3 Montgomery v. Ins. Co., 108 Wis. 146; 84 N. W. 175 (under the Michigan statute).
4 Fletcher v. Brainerd, 75 Vt. 300; 55 Atl. 608.
5 First National Bank v. Hirsch-kowitz, - Fla. - ; 35 So. 22.
6 Pyle v. Gross, 92 Md. 132; 48 Atl. 713; Augusta National Bank v. Beard's Executor, 100 Va. 687; 42 S. E. 694.