2019 Connecticut General Statutes
Title 46b - Family Law
Chapter 815e - Marriage
Section 46b-36 - (Formerly Sec. 46-9). Property rights of spouse not affected by marriage.

Universal Citation: CT Gen Stat § 46b-36 (2019)

A spouse shall not acquire by marriage any right to or interest in any property held by the other spouse before or acquired after such marriage, except as to the share of the survivor in the property as provided by sections 45a-436 and 45a-437. Each spouse shall have power to make contracts with the other spouse or with third persons, to convey to the other spouse or to third persons his or her real and personal estate and to receive conveyances of real and personal estate from the other spouse or from third persons as if unmarried. Each spouse may bring suit in his or her own name upon contracts or for torts and he or she may be sued for a breach of contract or for a tort; and his or her property, except such property as is exempt by law, may be taken on attachment and execution, but shall not be taken for the debts of the other spouse, except as provided in section 46b-37. Neither spouse shall be liable for the debts of the other spouse contracted before marriage, nor upon the other spouse's contracts made after marriage, except as provided in said section.

(1949 Rev., S. 7307; P.A. 13-213, S. 1.)

History: Sec. 46-9 transferred to Sec. 46b-36 in 1979 and reference to Sec. 46-10 changed to Sec. 46b-37 to reflect that section's transfer; (Revisor's note: In 1991 a reference to Sec. 45-273a changed editorially by the Revisors to Sec. 45a-436 to reflect recodification of title 45 as title 45a and in 1993 the reference to Sec. 45a-437 was added editorially since the provisions of that section had originally been included as former Sec. 45-273a(b) until separated by public act 90-146 which enabled the recodification of title 45 and the renumbering of Sec. 45-273a as Secs. 45a-436 and 45a-437, but due to an oversight reference to the latter section was omitted); P.A. 13-213 replaced references to “husband” and “wife” with references to “spouse”, deleted “The separate earnings of the wife shall be her sole property.” and made technical changes.

See Sec. 52-572d re abrogation of interspousal immunity in motor vehicle negligence actions accruing out of state.

Annotations to former section 46-9:

Prior to enacting of section, wife could not bind herself as surety for husband. 56 C. 151; 68 C. 538. Not construed as depriving her of the right in equity to contract with her husband in regard to her property. 56 C. 186. Married woman, during her lifetime, may dispose of all her property as she pleases. 71 C. 237. Legal and equitable title to mortgage are not merged where one makes it and the other acquires it by assignment; wife, occupying with husband, cannot hold adversely to him. 76 C. 223. Present status of married woman. 79 C. 24; 84 C. 21; 88 C. 42; 93 C. 358. Married woman may sue husband. 79 C. 24; 88 C. 42; 103 C. 583; 124 C. 543; 126 C. 147; 132 C. 79. Where husband and wife make note jointly, payment of interest by either is binding on other. 81 C. 143. Rights in building erected on land owned by husband and wife jointly. 82 C. 426; 86 C. 200. Deed to husband and wife makes them joint tenants without survivorship. 83 C. 581. Wife may sue for personal injury to herself; 84 C. 9; or alienation of husband's affections. 76 C. 135; 78 C. 296. Estoppel of wife from letting legal title to her property remain in husband; husband's right to foreclosure against wife. 87 C. 99. Where wife advances money to her husband, there is a presumption of a gift. 88 C. 114. Wife in whose name husband causes deed of land purchased by him to be taken is bare trustee for him. 91 C. 656. Marriage presumed to be after April 20, 1877, unless proved to be earlier. 93 C. 358. Fraudulent representations of husband as to title of property held jointly with wife do not bind her if made without her knowledge or assent. 94 C. 227. Cited. 108 C. 730. Right given married woman to sue husband denied unemancipated child in suit against parent. 109 C. 86. Cited. 137 C. 452. Does not indicate a legislative intent to permit recovery for loss of consortium in any action brought by either a husband or a wife against a third party whose negligence caused disabling injuries to the other spouse. 144 C. 155. Wife can recover from husband because of delict of son who was his agent but is himself immune to suit. 145 C. 663. Right of wife to sue husband is a substantive right. Id., 733. Cited. 147 C. 649; 159 C. 486; 165 C. 742, 748; 170 C. 258, 269.

Cited. 4 CS 145. Public policy of this state not opposed to right of wife to sue husband in tort for cause of action arising in Pennsylvania before parties were married. 18 CS 297. A wife domiciled in this state, and living with her husband so domiciled, may not maintain a tort action against the latter in this state for injuries sustained in Massachusetts. 20 CS 403. Public policy forbids maintenance of negligence action by unemancipated minor child against his parents. 24 CS 382. Cited. 30 CS 593. Wife may sue for husband's medical expenses for which she is legally liable. 32 CS 156. Spouses property rights not affected by marriage. 33 CS 44.

Annotations to present section:

Cited. 178 C. 308; 183 C. 35. Neither marriage nor an action for dissolution serves, in and of itself, to transfer an interest in property from one spouse to another. 184 C. 530. Cited. 200 C. 290; 206 C. 31.

Cited. 17 CA 431.

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