1,587. A Lien on a Husband's Property

Hilchos Ishus 16:10

The Sages also enacted a lien on all of a husband's property towards payment of his wife’s kesubah. Even if the kesubah is only worth 100 zuz and he owns property worth thousands of gold pieces, it is all mortgaged to her kesubah. A husband is permitted to sell all his property and such a sale is binding but any property that he sells after marriage can be commandeered by his wife to pay her kesubah in the event of divorce or his death if he no longer possesses sufficient property to pay. When a woman commandeers such property, she must take an oath while holding a holy object, the same as any other creditors. This condition was instituted so that a man should not come to treat the kesubah lightly.

Hilchos Ishus 16:11

When the court or the deceased husband’s heirs require a widow to take an oath in order to collect the value of her kesubah, the oath is taken outside of the court. The courts prefer not to administer this particular oath out of concern that the woman might be imprecise when taking it. If the heirs prefer that she take a vow in lieu of an oath, she may take a vow regarding anything they choose. This vow may be made in court, after which she collects the value of her kesubah.