1,651. Benefitting from a Wife's Property

Hilchos Ishus 22:6

The Gaonim ruled that if a woman falls ills and requests a divorce so that her husband won’t inherit her, her request is not honored even if she is willing to forgo her kesubah. This is true even if she says that she hates her husband and no longer wishes to be with him. In such a case, her request is not accommodated but she is not treated as a person who rebels against their spouse, which is an equitable approach.

Hilchos Ishus 22:7

During a woman's lifetime, her husband may benefit from all of her possessions, both “iron sheep” property (for which he assumes responsibility) and “melug” property (for which she assumes responsibility – see more here). If she predeceases her husband, he inherits all of it. Therefore, if the woman sold “melug” property after they were married, even if she came into possession of it before she was betrothed, her husband may claim from the buyers the income that the property generates for the duration of his wife’s life. He may not claim the actual land because, as it is “melug” property, he has no rights to it until his wife passes away. If she predeceases him, he may then claim the land from the buyers without paying for it, though if the actual money that was used to buy the land still exists, it must be returned to them. The husband cannot speculate that maybe it’s just money that his wife found.