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Questions about Dower Rights

The law in the United States has tries to ensure support and comfort to the spouse if there is a death or divorce. Dower rights are among such provisions. There are a lot of nuances and details of individual situations that determine dower rights. A common person, unaware of these nuances can ask a Family Lawyer and get information about dower rights. Family Lawyers on JustAnswer can give you information about dower rights and any other family law related questions. Below are some of the top questions about dower rights that are asked on JustAnswer.

Dower Definition

A dower is the woman’s right to receive an income or some interest from her husband’s estate after the death of her husband. It was provided to support the wife in case of the husband’s death. The laws regarding release of dower could differ from state to state. Ask a Family Lawyer on JustAnswer for more specific information on dower rights and release of dower in your state.

Difference between Dower and Dowry

A dower is a woman’s right to marital property. It is her right to receive a part of the husband’s income or estate if he dies in the course of the marriage. Dowry however, is the woman’s property that she brings into the marriage when she gets married. The dowry law no longer exists in most of the states.

Does a Life Insurance Policy Qualify as an Asset for a Dower?

In most cases, the life insurance policy of a deceased spouse will not automatically qualify as an asset for dower rights. It gets transferred to the beneficiary named in the policy.

Are Dower Rights Valid in case of a Divorce?

Dower rights were created by the law to support the wife if she survived her husband after his death. They do not remain valid if there is a divorce or legal separation. The spouse usually loses all her dower rights if there is a divorce or legal separation.

Is the Release of Dower Document a Standalone Document?

Most states in the US do not permit the release of dower to be a standalone document. It must be in the form of a deed or a will to be valid. There could be exceptions to this rule if a married person is mentally disabled. In such a situation, the spouse can petition to the Circuit Court to declare the spouse as being mentally ill. The Court will then permit the waiver of dower by letting the guardian of the deceased spouse to sign on his behalf or will appoint a commissioner to do so. The document of dower will have to be presented along with the Circuit Court order if it has to be filed.

Family law can lead to many questions. Family Lawyers on JustAnswer frequently answer questions on a wide range of topics like marriage, child support, visitation, joint legal custody and more. Whether you are unsure of the provision of law, need a second opinion or a clarification, all you need to do is ask a Family Lawyer for quick and affordable answers.

Ask a Family Lawyer

Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
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Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
7286322
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Recent Dower Rights Questions

  • Does bifurcation in marriage (i.e. processing the husband

    Does bifurcation in marriage (i.e. processing the husband and wife divorce) prior to settlement of child custody/parenting agreement have any bearing on the outcome of the child custody determination? Or are the two not linked? Thank you
  • My wife and I have been married for 30 years and now live in

    My wife and I have been married for 30 years and now live in Vermont. We are both 57.
    We are divorcing and she stated she wants 1/2 of my salary.
    She has a business degree and has worked full time up until we had childtren and then part time for most of her life, She was mainly an at home mom that raised our childtren who are now 27 and 24 as we felt it was best for the children. She does not want to go back to work full time and has take a very low paying part time job as it is fun. $12 per hour verusus her recent accounting job at $20 per hour.
    How is alimony calculated in Vermont and is she entitled to 1/2 of the salary. It represents about $6,600 after taxes etc. but is $10,000 per month base salary before taxes, insurance, etc..
    I do not mind providing for her, but is she entitled to half of my salary or half of my take home pay or enough to keep her in her present lifestyle? in Vermont this would be less than the $3,300 per month as 1/2 of the take home pay?
    There is no infedelity, abuse, or other factors as the reason for the divorce.
  • I got a divorce in 2013, she was in mexico at the time so

    I got a divorce in 2013, she was in mexico at the time so she defaulted but in the best interest of my son I chose him to stay with her ( she lives in Tempe az I live in Illinois) we signed a joint parenting agreement that states the other parent can contact the child by phone but she is not answering my calls so I cant talk to him, I kept the call logs when I called her, and I call in reasonable times when she is home.
    I took my son back after visiting in the summer he was back for school it was on August 4 it is now October 20th and I have only talked to my son twice so far, at the time I made that decision that he be with her i thought maybe he needs his mother for a year or two more but she has no time for him, he is basically being raised by after school care and baby sitter, he is 5, can I change that (since it was my decision regarding this issue and she defaulted) to were I get custody of my son and she gets visitation?
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