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 consent of the husband, and in some cases his written consent, to the wife's contracts.1 Under such statutes a married woman is not bound by an oral contract for the care of an insane husband, though by statute she could act as sole trader if her husband was insane.3 So as attorney's fees are a matter of negotiation, not merely a liability created and fixed by law, like costs, a married woman though empowered to sue alone on all her contracts, cannot bind herself by contract therefor without her husband's consent.3 Some statutes require the written assent of her husband to any conveyance of her property. Under such statute her endorsement and delivery of her note without her husband's consent is a nullity.4 A transfer by a married woman of a note assigned to her, without the written consent of her husband is invalid, even in the hands of a bona fide holder.5 But the indorsement of the note by the husband as well as by the wife, has been held to be a sufficient written assent.6 A contract of sale of goods without consent of the husband is not void, but voidable, whether treated as a Georgia or as an Alabama contract.7 A letter written by a husband as the wife's agent is sufficient to show consent, where it orders the goods to be shipped because of the writer's good standing, and where it states what the wife's property is, it charges it sufficiently.8 So is his joining in the execution of the instrument,9 or signing as a witness.10 This consent must be, however, to the same contract that the wife assents to.11 An exception to these statutes is generally made in case of necessaries, repairs and the like.12
18 Weller v. Monroe (Ky.), 55 S. W. 1078 (citing Faught v. Henry, 13 Bush. 471; Bybee v. Smith, 88 Ky. 648; 11 S. W. 722; McClure v. Bigstaff (Ky.), 37 S. W. 294; Adam v. Feeder (Ky.), 41 S. W. 275.
19 Johnson v. Sanger, 49 W. Va. 405; 38 S. E. 645.
20 Farmers', etc., Bank v. Loftus, 133 Pa. St. 97; 7 L. R. A. 313: 19 Atl. 347.
1 Bazemore v. Mountain, 126 N. C. 313; 35 S. E. 542; Coffey v. Shuler, 112 N. C. 622; 16 S. E. 911.
2 McAnally v. Insane Hospital, 109 Ala. 109; 55 Am. St. Rep. 923; 34 L. R. A. 223; 19 So. 492.
3 Cowan v. Motley, 125 Ala. 369; 28 So. 70.
5 Walton v. Bristol, 125 N. C. 419; 34 S. E. 544; Whelpley v. Stoughton, 119 Mich. 314; 78 N. W. 137.