1,639. Can a Daughter Spend Her Dowry as She Wishes?
Hilchos Ishus 20:14
Let’s say that a man made an oral will, either on his deathbed or while he was still healthy, stating that his daughter should be given a certain sum of money as her dowry, which should be used to buy land. Subsequently, he died. The money is in the possession of a third party and the daughter tells that person to give it to her husband so he can do what he wants with it. In such a case, if the daughter has reached the age of majority and married, she has the right to do as she wishes. If she is an adult but just betrothed (and not yet fully married), the one holding the money should follow the father’s instructions. If the daughter is still a minor, even if she’s already married, she is not listened to and the one holding the money should follow the father’s instructions.
Hilchos Ishus 21:1
A husband is entitled to things found by his wife and income generated by her work. She must perform work that is customary for women in their locale, such as weaving, embroidery, or spinning wool and flax. If women in their locale do not normally perform such tasks, he can only require her to spin wool; he cannot require her to spin flax because doing so damages the mouth and lips. Spinning wool can be required because spinning is singled out by the Torah as a task performed by women: “Every skilled woman spun with her hands” (Exodus 35:25).