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HUSBAND, domestic relations. A man who has a wife.
2. The husband, as such, is liable to certain obligations, and entitled to certain rights, which will be here briefly considered.
3. First, of his obligations. He is bound to receive his wife at his home, and should furnish her with all the necessaries and conveniences which his fortune enables him to do, and which her situation requires; but this does not include such luxuries as, according to her fancy, she deems necessaries; vide article Cruelty, where this matter is considered. He is bound to love his wife, and to bear with her faults, and, if possible, by mild means to correct them and he is required to fulfill towards her his marital promise of fidelity, and can, therefore, have no carnal connexion with any other woman, without a violation of his obligations. As he is bound to govern his house properly, he is liable for its misgovernment, and he may be punished for keeping a disorderly house, even where his wife had the principal agency, and he is liable for her torts, as for her slander or trespass. He is also liable for the wife's debts, incurred before coverture, provided they are recovered from him during their joint lives; and generally for such as are contracted by her after coverture, for necessaries, or by his authority, express or implied. See 5 Whart. 395; 5 Binn. 235; 1 Mod. 138; 5 Taunt. 356; 7 T. R. 166; 3 Camp. 27; 3 B. & Cr. 631; 5 W. & S. 164.
4. Secondly, of his rights. Being the head of the family, the husband has a right to establish himself wherever he may please, and in this he cannot be controlled by his wife; he may manage his affairs his own way; buy and sell all kinds of personal property, without any control, and he may buy any real estate he may deem proper, but, as the wife acquires a right in the latter, he cannot sell it, discharged of her dower, except by her consent, expressed in the manner prescribed by the laws of the state where such lands lie. At common law, all her personal property, in possession, is vested in him, and he may dispose of it as if he had acquired it by his own contract this arises from the principle that they are considered one person in law; 2 Bl. Com. 433 and he is entitled to all her property in action, provided he reduces it to possession during her life. Id. 484. He is also entitled to her chattels real, but these vest in him not absolutely, but sub modo; as, in the case of a lease for years, the husband is entitled to receive the rents and profits of it, and may, if he pleases, sell, surrender, or dispose of it during the coverture, and it is liable to be taken in execution for his debts and, if he survives her, it is, to all intents and purposes, his own. In case his wife survives him, it is considered as if it had never been transferred from her, and it belongs to her alone. In his wife's freehold estate, he has a life estate, during the joint lives of himself and wife; and, at common law, when he has a child by her who could inherit, he has an estate by the curtesy. But the rights of a husband over the wife's property, are very much abridged in some of the United States, by statutes. See Act of Pennsylvania, passed April 11, 1848.
5. The laws of Louisiana differ essentially from those of the other states, as to the rights and duties of husband and wife, particularly as it regards their property. Those readers, desirous of knowing, the legislative regulations on this subject, in that state, are referred to the Civil Code of Louis. B. 1, tit. 4; B. 3, tit. 6.
Vide, generally, articles Divorce; Marriage; Wife; and Bac. Ab. Baron and Feme; Rop. H. & W.; Prater on H. & W.; Clancy on the Rights, Duties and Liabilities of Husband and Wife Canning on the Interest of Husband and Wife, &c.; 1 Phil. Ev. 63; Woodf. L. & T. 75; 2 Kent, Com. 109; 1 Salk. 113 to 119Ø; Yelv. 106a, 156a, 166a; Vern. by Raithby, 7, 17, 48, 261; Chit. Pr. Index, h.t. Poth. du Contr. de Mar. n. 379; Bouv. Inst. Index, h.t.
HUSBAND, mar. law. The name of an agent who is authorized to make the necessary repairs to a ship, and to act in relation to the ship, generally, for the owner. He is usually called ship's husband. Vide Ship's Husband.