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.
Some statutes require the husband to join in his wife's contract. Under such statutes a separate pledge of property by the wife is invalid ;1 as is a note signed by the wife, payable to the husband and indorsed by him,2 or a judgment by confession where the husband did not join in the note or sign the order for confession.3 A purchase of land at public sale by an agent appointed with the consent of her husband is valid.4 Under such statutes the contract or conveyance is valid only if the husband joins therein.5 A deed executed by a married woman alone to defraud her creditors and subsequently ratified by a second deed in which her husband joins is invalid as to such creditors.6 A deed in which the husband did not join, conveying her interest in land previously her husband's, to her children in consideration of love is void;7 and a written contract by a married woman to sell land is unenforceable unless her husband joins, or she is living apart from him.8 So a mortgage in which the husband does not join is a nullity.9 So a mortgage may be void as not executed by husband and wife jointly and the note secured thereby may be valid;10 but if she could incur the debt for which the mortgage was given, it may be held in equity as an appointment of her property for payment.11 Under such statute it has been held that a note given by a wife to her husband and indorsed by him is invalid as he did not join in the execution.12 Such statute is held not to apply where the husband has deserted his wife.13 Under a statute requiring husband and wife to join in conveying the wife's property, but excepting women whose husbands are non-resident, a woman who is a non-resident may execute a valid deed without her husband's joining, though he is also a non-resident.14 A resi dent married woman cannot avail herself of a statute confer ring power on non-resident married women.15 If the husband signs the deed but does not join in acknowledging it, the deed is invalid in some jurisdictions,16 and in others good in equity as a contract.17 A married woman who bought land is estopped to deny the lien of the vendor thereon, though the notes given therefor were void as not signed by her husband.18 So under some statutes her trustee must join. Under such statute a conveyance by husband and wife is void.19 Under a statute authorizing a married woman to act as if she were single in dealing with her separate estate, her power of attorney is valid, though not signed by her husband.20
3 In re Hughes (1898), 1 Ch. 529; 67 L. J. Ch. N. S. 279; Hill v. Cooper (1893), 2 Q. B. 85; Azbill v. Azbill, 92 Ky. 154; 17 S. W. 284.
4 Azbill v. Azbill, 92 Ky. 154; 17 S. W. 284.
5 Kohn v. Steinau (Ky.), 29 S. W. 885.
6 New England, etc., Co. v. Powell, 94 Ala. 423; 10 So. 324.
1 Taylor v. Jackson (R. I.), 25 Atl. 348.
2 Harvard, etc., Co. v. Benjamin, 84 Md. 333; 57 Am. St. Rep. 402; 35 Atl. 930.
3 Hoffman v. Shupp, 80 Md. 611;
31 Atl. 505.
4 Moore v. Taylor, 81 Md. 644;
32 Atl. 320; 33 Atl. 886.
5 De Roux v. Girard, 112 Fed. 89; 50 C. C. A. 136 (decided under the Pennsylvania statute) ; Weber v. Tanner (Ky.), 64 S. W. 741; Harvard, etc., Co. v. Benjamin, 84 Md. 333; 57 Am. St. Rep. 402; 35 Atl. 930: Wostlake v. (City of) Youngstown, 62 O. S. 249; 56 N. E. 873; Bingler v. Bowman, 194 Pa. St. 210; 45 Atl. 80.
6 Murphy v. Green, 128 Ala. 486; 30 So. 643.
7 Ellis v. Pearson, 104 Tenn. 591; 58 S. W. 318.
8 Bartlett v. Williams, 27 Ind. App. 637; 60 N. E. 715; and the doctrine of part performance has no application. Rosenour v. Rosen-our, 47 W. Va. 554; 35 S. E. 918, under a special statute of a combination type.
9 Sipley v. Wass, 49 N. J. Eq. 463; 24 Atl. 233.
10 Hart v. Church, 126 Cal. 471; 77 Am. St. Rep. 195; 58 Pac. 910. A mortgage by a feme covert on part of her separate estate with the joinder of her husband is good in equity. Lynch v. Moser, 72 Conn. 714; 46 Atl. 153.
11 Perrine v. Newell, 49 N. J. Eq. 57; 23 Atl. 492.
12 Harvard, etc., Co. v. Benjamin, 91
84 Md. 333; 57 Am. St. Rep. 402; 35 Atl. 930.
13 Bieler v. Dreher, 129 Ala. 384; 30 So. 22 (by special statutory ex« ception).
14 High v. Whitfield, 130 Ala. 444; 30 So. 449.
15 Swafford v. Herd (Ky.), 65 S. W. 803 (a statute authorizing a non-resident married woman to appoint an attorney in fact to convey).
16 Weber v. Tanner (Ky.), 64 S. W. 741; Morgan v. Snodgrass, 49 W. Va. 387; 38 S. E. 695. So of a mortgage. Dietrich v. Hutchinson, 73 Vt. 134; 87 Am. St. Rep. 698; 50 Atl. 810.
17 Rushton v. Davis, 127 Ala. 279; 28 So. 476.