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The Married Women's Property Act
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This version is current as of December 8, 2017.
It has been in effect since June 17, 2010.

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C.C.S.M. c. M70

The Married Women's Property Act

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

Definition of "property"

1           In this Act "property" includes a thing in action and any interest in real or personal property.

Rights and obligations of a married woman

2           Subject to this Act, a married woman shall

(a) continue to be liable in respect of any tort committed, contract entered into, or debt or obligation incurred, by her before her marriage;

(b) be capable of making herself, and being made, liable in respect of any contract, debt, or obligation;

(c) be capable of acquiring, holding, and disposing of, any property;

(d) be capable of suing and being sued, either in tort, contract, or otherwise;

(e) be subject to the enforcement of judgments and orders; and

(f) be capable of acting in any fiduciary or representative capacity;

in all respects as if she were unmarried.

Rights of married woman in property after coming into force of Act

3(1)        All property that

(a) immediately before January 1, 1946, was the property of a married woman;

(b) belongs at the time of her marriage to a woman married after December 31, 1945; or

(c) after December 31, 1945, is acquired by, or devolves upon, a married woman;

belongs to her in all respects as if she were unmarried and may be dealt with accordingly.

Exception

3(2)        Nothing in subsection (1) interferes with or renders inoperative a restriction upon anticipation or alienation attached to the enjoyment of any property by virtue of a provision attaching such restriction contained in an instrument executed before January 1, 1946.

Abolition of restraint upon anticipation

3(3)        An instrument executed on or after January 1, 1946, in so far as it purports to attach to the enjoyment of property by a married woman a restriction upon anticipation or alienation that could not have been attached to the enjoyment of that property by a man, is void.

When restraint deemed to have been imposed

3(4)        For the purposes of the provisions of this section relating to restrictions upon anticipation or alienation,

(a) an instrument attaching such a restriction executed on or after January 1, 1946, in pursuance of an obligation imposed before that date to attach such a restriction shall be deemed to have been executed before January 1;

(b) 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

(c) the will of a testator who dies after December 31, 1955, notwithstanding the actual date of execution thereof, shall be deemed to have been executed after January 1, 1946.

Restrictions of husband's liability

4(1)        The husband of a married woman is not, by reason only of his being her husband, liable

(a) in respect of a tort committed by her before or after marriage; or

(b) in respect of a contract entered into, or debt or obligation incurred, by her before marriage.

Application of Highway Traffic Act

4(2)        Subsection (1) is subject to The Highway Traffic Act.

Saving provision

5           Nothing in this Act

(a) exempts a husband from liability in respect of a contract entered into, or debt or obligation incurred, by his wife after marriage in respect of which he would be liable if this Act had not been passed; or

(b) prevents a husband and wife from acquiring, holding, and dealing with, property jointly or as tenants in common, or from making themselves, or being made, jointly liable in respect of any tort, contract, debt, or obligation, and from suing or being sued either in tort, contract, or otherwise, in like manner as if they were not married; or

(c) prevents the exercise of any joint power given to a husband and wife.

Remedies of married woman for protection of property

6(1)        A married woman has, in her own name, against all persons, including her husband, the same remedies for the protection and security of her property, as if she were unmarried.

Actions in tort between spouses

6(2)        Spouses have the same right to sue each other for tort as if they were not married.

Remedies of married man for protection of property

6(3)        A married man has against his wife the same remedies for the protection and security of his property as his wife has against him for the protection and security of her property.

S.M. 2008, c. 42, s. 63.

Summary disposal of questions

7(1)        In any question between spouses or common-law partners as to the title to or possession of property, either party, or any corporation, company, public body, or society, in whose books any stocks, funds, or shares, of either party are standing, may apply in a summary way to a judge of the Court of Queen's Bench, 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 from time to time and any inquiry or issue touching the matters in question to be made or tried in such manner as he thinks fit.

Hearing

7(2)        The judge, if either party so requests, may hear the application in private.

Corporation's costs

7(3)        In an application under this section any such corporation, company, public body, or society, shall, for the purposes of costs or otherwise, be treated as a stakeholder only.

Appeal

7(4)        Where the value of the property in dispute in an application under this section exceeds $200 an appeal lies to The Court of Appeal from any order made by the judge.

S.M. 2008, c. 42, s. 63.

Homesteads Act and Family Property Act

8           This Act is subject to The Homesteads Act and to The Family Property Act.

S.M. 1992, c. 46, s. 61; S.M. 2002, c. 48, s. 16.

Uniform construction

9           This Act shall be so interpreted and construed as to effect its general purpose of making uniform the law of the provinces that enact it.