RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF HUSBAND AND WIFE
—(1) Upon the solemnization of marriage, the husband and the wife shall be mutually bound to co-operate with each other in safeguarding the interests of the union and in caring and providing for the children.
(2) The husband and the wife shall have the right separately to engage in any trade or profession or in social activities.
(3) The wife shall have the right to use her own surname and name separately.
(4) The husband and the wife shall have equal rights in the running of the matrimonial household.
—(1) Subject to subsection (2), the domicile of a married woman as at any time on or after 1st June 1981 shall, instead of being the same as her husband’s by virtue only of marriage, be ascertained by reference to the same factors as in the case of any other individual capable of having an independent domicile.
(2) Where immediately before 1st June 1981 a woman was married and then had her husband’s domicile by dependence, she is to be treated as retaining that domicile (as a domicile of choice, if it is not also her domicile of origin) unless it is changed by acquisition or revival of another domicile either on or after that date.
—(1) The Minister may appoint such public officers as he thinks fit to be Conciliation Officers for the purposes of this Act and shall from time to time publish in the Gazette the names of the officers so appointed.
(2) Where there are differences between the parties to a marriage, the parties or either of them may refer the differences to a Conciliation Officer for his advice and assistance.
(3) A Conciliation Officer may by notice in writing require any party to a marriage to attend before him at any reasonable time and at any convenient place for the purposes of settling differences between the parties to the marriage and such person shall be legally bound to attend as required and to answer any questions relating to those differences, truthfully and to the best of his ability.
—(1) A court before which —
proceedings for divorce or judicial separation;
are being heard shall consider, from time to time, the possibility of a reconciliation of the parties.
(2) If, during such proceedings, it appears to the judge from the nature of the case, the evidence in the proceedings or the attitude of the parties that there is a reasonable possibility of a reconciliation of the parties, the judge may do all or any of the following:
with the consent of the parties, interview them in chambers, with or without their solicitors, as the judge thinks proper, to assist in a possible reconciliation; and
nominate a Conciliation Officer or some other suitable person or organisation to assist in considering a possible reconciliation.
(3) If, not less than 14 days after an adjournment under subsection (2), either of the parties requests that the hearing be proceeded with, the judge shall resume the hearing, or arrangements shall be made for the proceedings to be dealt with by another judge, as the case requires, as soon as practicable.
(4) Where a judge has acted as conciliator under subsection (2)(b) but the attempt to effect a reconciliation has failed, the judge shall not, except at the request of the parties to the proceedings, continue to hear the proceedings, or determine the proceedings, and, in the absence of such a request, arrangements shall be made for the proceedings to be dealt with by another judge.
(5) Evidence of anything said, or of any admission made, in the course of an endeavour to effect a reconciliation under this section shall not be admissible in any court.
—(1) A court before which any proceedings under this Act (other than proceedings under section 104) are being heard may give consideration to the possibility of a harmonious resolution of the matter and for this purpose may, with the consent of the parties, refer the parties for mediation by such person as the parties may agree or, failing such agreement, as the court may appoint.
(2) A court before which any proceedings under this Act (other than proceedings under section 65 or 66) are being heard may, if it considers that it is in the interests of the parties or their children to do so, at any stage in the proceedings direct or advise either or both of the parties or their children to attend counselling provided by such person as the Minister may approve or as the court may direct.
(3) Failure to comply with any direction or advice referred to in subsection (2) does not constitute a contempt of court.
(3A) A court before which any proceedings under Part X are being heard shall, where the proceedings involve such classes of persons (being persons who have children to the marriage) as may be prescribed by the Minister, do either or both of the following:
order the parties to attend mediation conducted by such person as the court may appoint;
order the parties or their children or both, at any stage in the proceedings, to attend counselling provided by such person as the Minister may approve or as the court may direct.
(3B) Notwithstanding subsection (3A), the court may, in any case where it considers that it may not be in the interests of the parties or their children to attend mediation or counselling, as the case may be, dispense with an order requiring such mediation or counselling.
(3C) Where the court has made an order under subsection (3A), the parties concerned shall comply with it.
(3D) Where a person fails to comply with any direction or advice given by the court under subsection (2) in any proceedings under Part X or any order made by a court under subsection (3A), the court may make such further orders as it thinks fit.
(3E) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (3D), the further orders that may be made by a court under that subsection shall include the following orders:
(4) Evidence of anything said, or of any admission made, in the course of any mediation or any counselling under this section shall not be admissible in any court.
51. Subject to the provisions of this Act, a married woman shall —
be capable of acquiring, holding and disposing of, any property;
be capable of rendering herself, and being rendered, liable in respect of any tort, contract, debt or obligation;
be capable of suing and being sued in her own name either in tort or in contract or otherwise and shall be entitled to all remedies and redress for all purposes; and
be subject to the law relating to bankruptcy and to the enforcement of judgments and orders,
in all respects as if she were a feme sole.
—(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, all property which —
immediately before 15th September 1961 was the property (including the separate property) of a married woman or held for her separate use in equity;
belongs at the time of her marriage to a woman married after 15th September 1961; or
after 15th September 1961 is acquired by or devolves upon a married woman,
shall belong to her in all respects as if she were a feme sole and may be disposed of accordingly.
(2) Nothing in subsection (1) shall —
be construed as affecting adversely the right of any married woman to any property which she had immediately before 15th September 1961; or
interfere with or render inoperative any valid restriction upon anticipation or alienation attached to the enjoyment of any property by virtue of any provision contained in any written law in force immediately before 15th September 1961, or in any instrument executed before that date.
(3) Any instrument executed on or after 15th September 1961 shall, in so far as it purports to attach to the enjoyment of any property by a woman any restriction upon anticipation or alienation which could not have been attached to the enjoyment of that property by a man, be void.
(4) For the purposes of this section relating to restrictions upon anticipation or alienation —
an instrument attaching such a restriction as aforesaid, executed on or after 15th September 1961, in pursuance of an obligation imposed before that date to attach such a restriction, shall be deemed to have been executed before that date;
a provision contained in an instrument made in exercise of a special power of appointment shall be deemed to be contained in that instrument only and not in the instrument by which the power was created; and
the will of any testator who dies after 15th September 1961, shall (notwithstanding the actual date of the execution thereof) be deemed to have been executed after that date.
53. Any money or other estate of the wife, lent or entrusted by her to her husband for the purpose of any trade or business carried on by him or otherwise, shall be treated as assets of her husband’s estate in the case of his bankruptcy under reservation of the wife’s claim to a dividend as a creditor for the amount or value of such money or other estate after, but not before all claims of the other creditors of the husband for valuable consideration in money or money’s worth have been satisfied.
54. If any question arises as to the right of a husband or wife to money derived from any allowance made by the husband for the expenses of the matrimonial home or for similar purposes, or to any property acquired out of that money, the money or property shall, in the absence of any agreement between them to the contrary, be treated as belonging to the husband and the wife in equal shares.
—(1) Nothing in this Part shall give validity, as against creditors of the husband, to any gift by a husband to his wife of any property which, after such gift, continues to be in the order and disposition or reputed ownership of the husband, or to any deposit or other investment of moneys of the husband made by or in the name of his wife in fraud of his creditors.
(2) Any money deposited or invested in the manner referred to in subsection (1) may be followed as if this Act had not been passed.
—(1) Every married woman shall have in her own name against all persons whomsoever, including her husband, the same civil remedies and also, subject as regards her husband to subsection (3), the same remedies and redress by way of criminal proceedings for the protection and security of her own property as if that property belonged to her as a feme sole.
(2) In any charge or other proceeding under this section, it shall be sufficient to allege that property to be her property.
(3) No criminal proceedings shall be taken against a husband or wife while they are living together as to or concerning any property claimed by her or him respectively nor while they are living apart as to or concerning any act done by the husband or wife while they were living together concerning property claimed by the wife or husband respectively unless that property has been wrongly taken by the husband or wife when leaving or deserting or about to leave or desert the wife or husband respectively.
(4) In any action or proceeding by a woman or by a next friend on her behalf, the court before which that action or proceeding is pending shall have jurisdiction by judgment or order to order payment of the costs of the opposite party out of property which is subject to a restraint on anticipation, and may enforce such payment by the appointment of a receiver and the sale of the property or otherwise as is just.
—(1) A woman after her marriage shall continue to be liable for all debts contracted and all contracts entered into or wrongs committed by her before her marriage, including any sums for which she is liable as a contributory, either before or after she has been placed on the list of contributories under and by virtue of the Companies Act (Cap. 50).
(2) A woman referred to in subsection (1) may be sued for any such debt and for any liability in damages or otherwise under any such contract or in respect of any such wrong.
—(1) Subject to this section, each of the parties to a marriage shall have the like right of action in tort against the other as if they were not married.
(2) Where an action in tort is brought by one of the parties to a marriage against the other during the subsistence of the marriage, the court may stay the action if it appears —
that no substantial benefit would accrue to either party from the continuation of the proceedings; or
that the question or questions in issue could more conveniently be disposed of on an application made under section 59.
—(1) In any question between husband and wife as to the title to or possession of property, either party may apply by summons or otherwise in a summary way to any Judge of the High Court, and the Judge may make such order with respect to the property in dispute and as to the costs of and consequent on the application as he thinks fit, or may direct the application to stand over, and any inquiry touching the matters in question to be made in such manner as he thinks fit.
(2) Any order made under this section shall be subject to appeal in the same way as an order made by the same Judge in an action pending in the High Court.
(3) The Judge may, if either party so requires, hear any such application in his chambers.
(4) An application may be made under this section by either of the parties to a marriage notwithstanding that their marriage has been dissolved or annulled so long as the application is made within the period of 3 years beginning with the date on which the marriage was dissolved or annulled.
(5) References in this section to a husband or a wife shall be construed accordingly.
60. A married woman who is an executrix or administratrix, alone or jointly with any other person or persons, of the estate of any deceased person, or a trustee alone or jointly as aforesaid of property subject to any trust, may sue or be sued, and may transfer or join in transferring any movable or immovable property belonging to the estate or trust without her husband as if she were a feme sole.
—(1) Nothing in this Part shall interfere with or affect any settlement or agreement for a settlement made or to be made, whether before or after marriage, respecting the property of any married woman, or shall interfere with or render inoperative any restriction against anticipation at present attached or to be hereafter attached to the enjoyment of any property or income by a woman under any settlement, agreement for a settlement, will or other instrument.
(2) No restriction against anticipation contained in any settlement or agreement for a settlement of a woman’s own property, to be made or entered into by herself, shall have any validity against debts contracted by her before marriage, and no settlement or agreement for a settlement shall have any greater force or validity against creditors of that woman than a like settlement or agreement for a settlement made or entered into by a man would have against his creditors.
62. For the purposes of this Part, the legal personal representative of any married woman shall, in respect of her estate, have the same rights and liabilities as she would have, and be subject to the same jurisdiction as she would be, if she were living.
63. The provisions of this Part as to liabilities of married women shall extend to all liabilities by reason of any breach of trust or devastavit committed by any married woman being a trustee or an executrix or administratrix either before or after her marriage, and her husband shall not be subject to those liabilities unless he has acted or intermeddled in the trust or administration.