Excerpt from The Rights and Liabilities of Husband and Wife
With regard to the subject matter of the book - it will be found that during the two decades which have elapsed since the publication of the last edition the nebulous and, at that time, indeterminate effect of the provisions of the Married Women's Property Act, 1882, have to some considerable extent been crystallized and settled by judicial decisions. Consequently at the present day it is noticeable that this Act (as amplified by subsequent Statutes) has not only effected a fundamental change in the status or personal capacity of married women, but has also introduced into the circle of domestic life, as a concomitant of the contract between husband and wife, those sound principles of limited liability in pecuniary matters which, in business corporations, have tended so materially to enhance the trade and aggrandize the wealth of the community in the larger sphere of public life.
Marriage at the present day, at least in the eye of the law, must therefore be regarded as -
(a) "The voluntary union for life of one man with one woman to the exclusion of all others," and
(b) As a collateral agreement for a partnership, in which each of the contracting parties strictly reserves to himself or herself the control over all property not actually dealt with by the settlements made in consideration of the marriage.
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