[§572-24]  Spousal liabilities.  Both spouses of a marriage, whether married in this State or in some other jurisdiction, and residing in this, shall be bound to maintain, provide for, and support one another during marriage, and shall be liable for all debts contracted by one another for necessaries for themselves, one another, or their family during marriage; provided that when a support or maintenance obligation, however designated, is imposed upon a spouse under chapter 580 or any other law, the amount of such obligation shall be determined by the appropriate court on the basis of factors enumerated in section 580-47(a). [L 1888, c 11, pt of §7; RL 1925, pt of §3000; am L 1933, c 68, §1; RL 1935, §4651; RL 1945, §12372; am L 1945, c 254, §3 and c 273, §6; RL 1955, §325-7; HRS §573-7; am L 1972, c 191, §1; am L 1978, c 77, §1(2); ren L 1984, c 79, §1]


Case Notes


  A husband being solely responsible for the support of the family, wife entitled to advances made by her to family venture as creditor in equity of husband; also, entitled to contributions to mutual business investment.  4 U.S.D.C. Haw. 547, 561 (1951).

  Husband is also liable for breach of implied warranty where only wife and another defendant are registered partners if wife is found to be husband's agent.  198 F. Supp. 78 (1961), aff'd 304 F.2d 149 (1962).

  Torts:  Under prior law, held husband liable alone for torts of wife.  1 H. 83 (1852).

  As to wife's debts prior to marriage.  3 H. 374 (1872), questioned.  9 H. 543, 545 (1894).

  Necessaries:  Husband not liable for attorney's fee for defense of wife in criminal action for desertion of husband.  5 H. 23 (1883).  Husband not liable at law for attorney's fee in defending wife in libel for divorce.  19 H. 463 (1909).  Husband not liable for attorney's fee in criminal action against husband by wife for assault and battery.  22 H. 377 (1914).

  Husband not liable for necessaries, if wife living apart in notorious adultery.  5 H. 695 (1876).  If credit for necessaries is given solely to the wife, the husband is not responsible.  6 H. 212 (1877).  Wife may purchase necessaries and those furnishing necessaries may sue husband for their value.  14 H. 554 (1903).

  Remedy of wife in case of failure of support.  8 H. 495 (1892).

  Section construed liberally.  19 H. 326 (1909).

  Recovery cannot be had against husband without proof of delivery and wife is not agent of husband to start an account on his behalf.  22 H. 1 (1914).

  Necessaries, showing required.  34 H. 423 (1938).  Liable for necessaries under rule of "enforced agency" or "agency by necessity".  34 H. 709 (1938).

  The statutory duty of spousal support for necessaries continues past the filing of a divorce action, and absent some interim court order concerning "support or maintenance" as provided in this section, remains in effect until the final disposition of divorce proceedings.  88 H. 489 (App.), 967 P.2d 686 (1998).

  Where husband's medical services were necessaries for which husband was indebted to hospital and debt was contracted for during period when husband was married to wife, under the terms of this section, wife became "liable" for the hospital debt incurred by husband.  88 H. 489 (App.), 967 P.2d 686 (1998).

  Cited:  38 H. 1, 4 (1948).