dower contract

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Senior Member
Hello, I am reading Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

“Well,” Colum was saying, not altogether approvingly, “if you’re married, you’re married. I’ll have to talk to Dougal and Ned Gowan—there’ll be legal matters to attend to. There are a few things you’re entitled to when ye wed, by the terms of your mother’s dower contract.”

Could you please explain the meaning of "dower contract" to me? Thank you.
  • exgerman

    Senior Member
    English but my first language was German
    A dower is a contract made before a marriage, which specifies what the wife is entitled to in case the husband dies before her. It's an old practise. Nowadays we have much a more complicated contract called pre-nup(tial contract) to specify what happens when a couple divorces.:D

    So in the dower contract of [you]'s mother, there is a clause that addresses the financial consequences when her child gets married. For example, he/she may get some of her inheritance at that point.
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