In Quebec, generally speaking, contracts by per sons of this class cannot be voided unless there has been lesion, that is, injury or loss suffered by such person and arising out of the contract. The code expressly declares that when minors, interdicted per sons (which would include persons incapable, because of some mental weakness, of making a contract) or married women are admitted in those qualities to be relieved from their contracts, the reimbursement of what has been paid in consequence of these contracts, during the minority, interdiction or marriage, cannot be exacted, unless it is proved that what has been paid has turned to their profit. It is not for the incapable to prove that the bargain has not turned out to his profit, but for his opponent to prove that it has ac tually turned out to his profit.
11. Married women.—The old rule of the English common law was that a married woman could not, with rare exceptions, make a valid contract apart from her husband. This has been changed by statute. In the English law provinces, it may now be said that a married woman may deal with her separate property quite as freely as if she were unmarried and of age. Her contracts will bind her.
In Quebec, the general rule is that a wife cannot contract without her husband's authorization. If she is married without a marriage contract stipulating separation of property, her property and that of her husband fall into what is called a community of prop erty. In theory, this common property belongs to
both; but the husband is head of the community, and alone can say how the property, goods or money com posing it, shall be spent or disposed of. His wife cannot, therefore, bind herself by contract without his consent, for otherwise he might find the property of the community, of which he is the virtual master and owner, dispersed or dissipated by the wife's contracts.
In every province, excepting Quebec, when a woman marries she retains control and absolute ownership of all her property and of all she may earn or acquire. In Quebec, however, separation of property may be stipulated by marriage contract, and the wife will thus be and remain owner of all her property; but she cannot alienate her real property, tho she may ad minister it. She can deal with and dispose of her income; but as to capital, speaking broadly, she is subject to the authority of her husband. In the Eng lish law provinces, a wife may freely be a public trader. In Quebec a wife needs her husband's authorization to be a public trader (tho his consent will be implied where he knows what she is doing and does not pro test) ; if she is separate as to property, she binds her separate property; if she is common as to property, she binds her husband also. In Quebec a wife cannot bind her separate property in any contract with or for her husband, saving the rights of creditors in good faith.