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Before the Act went into effect, Michigan was one of the last states to recognize dower rights. Among the reasons that the legislature acted now, after other unsuccessful attempts to repeal dower rights, were complications related to the application of dower rights in the context of same-sex marriage.


As a result of such dower rights, a wife has been required to sign any deed, mortgage or other document to transfer an interest in her husband's property to another, which would release her dower rights and give the transferee good title to the property. The Michigan legislature recently voted to abolish dower rights in Public Act 489 of 2016.


History of Dower Rights in Michigan. The Dower Rights in Michigan can be traced back to early 1797 ordinances. Nearly all other states have eliminated these archaic laws that are gender specific and only granted dower rights to married women without providing similar requirements for men. In modern times it creates more hassle than benefits for ...


The newly signed bills, SB 558 and SB 560, abolish a wife’s dower right in both statue and common law, and repeal sections of the Revised Judicature Act that pertain to dower. The bills also remove the requirement for a divorce judgment or separate maintenance to include a provision in lieu of dower.


Before the Michigan Legislature repealed dower rights, Michigan was one of the few states that still recognized common law dower rights. Yet, the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision in Obergefell v Hodges hastened dower’s end. The Court in Obergefell set aside state bans on same-sex marriages and ruled that states could not use gender or sex as a ...


Repeal dower rights . Introduced by Rep. Klint Kesto (R) on March 24, 2016 To establish in statute that, upon the death of her husband, a wife's dower right to a life estate in 1/3 of any land he owned during his lifetime is abolished and unenforceable.


Dower rights are claimed after a husband dies. The widow is entitled to a portion of the property assets for the rest of her life. Dower rights in Michigan only apply to property that is purchased during the marriage, and they are only awarded to the wife, not the husband. Dower laws often come into play after a husband dies.


Michigan and had to deal with what it meant in the modern age. According to Black’s Law Dictionary, dower is defined as at common law, a widow’s right, at her husband’s death to a life estate in one-third of the land her husband had seisen (known as fee simple).1 It is important to note that dower rights are only applicable to women.


Dower Rights Repealed It’s been over a year since the Michigan Legislature abolished dower rights. In January 2017, Governor Rick Synder signed a bill into law that read in part, “[A] wife’s dower right is abolished and unenforceable either through statute or at common law.”


The Michigan Legislature Website is a free service of the Legislative Internet Technology Team in cooperation with the Michigan Legislative Council, the Michigan House of Representatives, and the Michigan Senate. ... Alternative dower rights before assignment; occupation, profits and rents receipts.