dower

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dower,

that portion of a deceased husband's real propertyproperty,
rights to the enjoyment of things of economic value, whether the enjoyment is exclusive or shared, present or prospective. The rightful possession of such rights is called ownership.
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 that a widow is legally entitled to use during her lifetime to support herself and their children. A wife may claim the dower if her husband dies without a will or if she dissents from the will. At common law, dower consists of a one-third interest in all the land that the husband owned during the marriage. In many states of the United States dower rights have been abolished and other provisions, especially rights of inheritance, have been made for the widow. Where it still exists, the dower right attaches to the land as soon as it comes into the husband's possession; for that reason it cannot be defeated by a conveyance of the land by the husband in his lifetime unless his wife joins in the deed. If the wife is the guilty party in a divorce or the marriage is annulled, the right of the wife to dower is ended. The husband's lifetime use of his deceased wife's property, a right that is contingent on the birth of lawful issue, is known as curtesy.

dower

the life interest in a part of her husband's estate allotted to a widow by law
References in periodicals archive ?
Finalmente, sabemos que el modelo matrimonial en este periodo estaba lejos de ser el modelo catolico monogamo e indisoluble y asi lo expresa claramente Le Jan (38), mientras La Rocca lo deja entrever para los reyes lombardos (39) quienes durante los siglos V a VIII no intercambiaron regalos de bodas, esto significaria que no entregaban dos, ni siquiera la Morgengabe que indicaria un matrimonio de segunda categoria (40).
Pero este estado tenia un precio, la morgengabe, tanto mas alto cuanto mas importante fuera la nueva familia en la que la puella iba a quedar integrada y a la que tenia la mision de perpetuar.
Third, the arras in question, that is Ruy's gift to his bride, was qualitatively different from the Italian counter-trousseau, donatio propter nuptias, repromissa, or Morgengabe. In Portugal, husbands' marriage gifts were not governed by the logic of symbolic reciprocity in the context of dowry exchange; an arras was the "dowry" that a husband gave to his wife as her inalienable property in exchange for her "honor," without which, in Visigothic times, no upper-class marriage was valid.