Michigan Abolishes Dower

As of April 7, 2017, wives in Michigan will no longer have dower rights. If you want to know all about dower rights, read my previous post about dower. Briefly, dower gives wives some rights to any real estate owned by her husband during the marriage.

What this new change means is that wives may no longer need to sign deeds when their husband sells property that is only in his name. This also removes dower as one option for wives during a divorce property settlement, or for widows when dealing with the estates of deceased husbands. Dower will still exist in cases where a husband passes before April 7, or where the ex-wife/widow has already taken advantage of her dower rights.

Most states abolished dower long ago. Michigan is doing it now as part of a set of new laws to deal with the legalization of same-sex marriage. Dower was only available to a wife in a marriage.

There will be other changes in family law because of same-sex marriage which I will be covering in future posts.