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Top Questions about Dowry Law

Meghan Jones

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The custom of dowry is still followed in many parts of the world. It is very important for a couple to know their rights regarding dowry, in case the marriage ends. However it may be difficult fighting for dowry rights in some countries as they do not recognized dowry. You can always ask legal experts if you want more information on dowry and the different dowry laws.

Q. An Indian who is a permanent resident of Canada got married in New Jersey and is filing for a divorce. The marriage is not registered in India but the wife has a U. S marriage certificate. The husband does not want to return the money received as dowry. What legal actions can the wife take against the husband?
As U. S does not recognize dowry, money given to the husband during a wedding ceremony may be considered as marital property invested by the wife in the marriage. One may be able to get only half of this amount. However one may file a case in India under the Indian law which may recognize dowry.

Q. An individual gave everything to the Archdiocese of Michigan and died. Since his wife is still alive, under the Michigan state dowry law, will she be allowed to keep the house and the property around it and everything else?
The real and personal property of a Michigan descendent other than any insurance and joint property may be given to the wife after clearing all debts, taxes, family allowance and exempt property in the absence of a will. In case the deceased leaves a will, the charity may not be able to take anything while the wife is still alive.

Q. A couple got married in Iran. They signed the Arabic agreement after the parents decided the dowry. If the promised gifts were not given, can the dowry be divided as a part of divorce in Texas?
This kind of an agreement would be considered a prenuptial agreement in many state of U. S. In Texas, the laws regarding prenuptial agreements may be different from other states of the US. If the promised gifts were not given, the court of Texas may not be able to order division of gifts between the 2 parties.

Q. Will an ex- wife have dowry rights over her ex-husband’s assets and pension?
Usually, in a divorce case, the court may order the property to be divided between the couple at the time of the divorce. At that time, if the husband’s pension was hidden from the ex-wife, the court may reopen the case to settle the issue of the pension only.

Dowry is a very common practice in many different parts of the world. Hence, it is important for a couple to know what their rights towards dowry are. It may not be easy for you to research dowry laws on your own. You can take the help of family lawyers to know more about dowry laws.


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