estate during coverture
- From: Michael Snyder <msnyder@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 27 Jan 2010 22:55:10 -0800
Handbook On The Law Of Real Property", by Earl P. Hopkins. Also available from Amazon: Handbook on the law of real property.
Estate During Coverture
42. The estate during coverture is the right which the husband acquires at common law to the CHATTELS REAL [Note by snyder -- CHATTELS REAL is by distinction from ordinary CHATTELS or personal property] of his wife which he reduces to possession, and to the use and profits of her realty. Qualification-this right of the husband is qualified by:
(a) The doctrine of separate property.
(b) By statutory changes in nearly all the states.
By the rules of the common law, a husband acquired an interest in his wife's LANDS then owned or acquired during their joint lives, which was called an "estate during coverture"3 This interest gave him complete ownership of her CHATTELS REAL, provided he appropriated them to his use during his wife's life.4 They were liable for his debts,5 and he could sell, mortgage, or dispose of them without her consent;6 but, if no such disposition of the chattels real was made, and she survived him, then they were hers absolutely.7 As to her real estate proper, except future estates,8 the husband had a right to the use and profits of it 9 until the marriage was terminated by death or divorce;10 and this right excluded any control by the wife during his life. The husband could collect the rents and sue in his name for any injury to the profits,11 but for injuries to the corpus of the estate it was necessary to join the wife.12 He and his lessees were entitled to emblements.13 At common law, although the husband, being a tenant for life, could not commit waste,14 still the wife's remedy was imperfect, because she could not sue him.15 But he might be restrained by injunction.16 When waste was committed by the husband's assignee, this difficulty as to the remedy did not exist.17 Full power of alienation, including liability for debts, resided in the husband to the extent of his life interest,18 but he was not allowed to prejudice his wife's inheritance in any way.19
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