If a wealthy woman wishes to marry a man but disallow him from using her estate and money, is there a halachic clause that would allow her to do so? If she became wealthy after marriage, can she disallow her husband from making use of the estate she acquired?

  • yeshiva.co/ask/?id=2522 -- Short explanation of Nichsei Milog & Tzon Barzel
    – Menachem
    Nov 7, 2017 at 6:33
  • But both of them involve the husband being able to use those posessions. Can she opt for her husband to have no access whatsoever to them?
    – Ovadyah
    Nov 7, 2017 at 6:34

1 Answer 1


Before the wedding, they can agree in writing that he will have nothing (or only limited things) of hers, including not inheriting her.

If after they get married they want to talk about this, he can waive everything except that he'll still inherit her. The halachic method around right-of-inheritance would be if she officially gifts all that she owns to her brother/children/friends/cousins/charity, effective one second before she dies. At which point she is able to give away anything she wants; then she dies, and the husband inherits what remains of her "estate" -- which could be $0.

If she gets a great job and out-earns him, she can easily declare that she waives her husband's obligation to support her, and in exchange she has full rights to all of her earnings -- in short, disentangle all earnings. (Rambam Husbandhood 12:4).

Rambam, Laws of Husbandhood Ch. 23:

If he stipulated with her before marriage that he have will have no rights to her properties, then she may unilaterally give or sell those properties. But while those properties remain in her domain, he may consume any fruits/proceeds they produce. ... He could stipulate that he will not have rights to the proceeds, the proceeds' proceeds, and so on infinitely, as long as she lives. But if she dies, he would inherit her. ...

If he agreed not to inherit her, he doesn't inherit, but could still consume proceeds of her properties while she's alive. Similarly if he stipulated to only inherit some of her property, or that that if she dies childless, the estate would return to her side of the family -- that would all be valid. This case of [waiving inheritance] only applies if they agreed to it before they were married.

If after the wedding, he stipulated that he would have no right or claim to her properties, their proceeds, the proceeds' proceeds and so forth ad infinitum, whether she's alive or dead: he can't consume any of her properties' proceeds, but if she dies, he inherits her as we explained.

התנה עימה קודם אירוסין, שלא יהיה לו דין ודברים בנכסיה--אם מכרה ונתנה, מכרה קיים ומתנתה קיימת; אבל אוכל פירותיהן, כל זמן שהן ברשותה. ואם קנו מידו כשהיא ארוסה, שאין לו דין ודברים בנכסיה--הרי סילק עצמו מגוף הקרקע, ואין לו בנכסיה פירות לעולם; ואפילו עירער על קניינו ואמר, לא עלה בדעתי שאין לי פירות מפני קניין זה, אלא שאם מכרה מכרה קיים, שאין אדם נושא אישה בלא נכסים--אין שומעין לו, אלא כבר סילק עצמו מגוף הקרקע.

כג,ג התנה עימה שלא יאכל פירות נכסיה--הרי זה אינו אוכל פירותיהן; אבל מוכרין את הפירות, ולוקחין בהן קרקע, והוא אוכל פירותיה, שלא סילק עצמו אלא מפירות נכסים אלו בלבד.

כג,ד התנה עימה שלא יאכל פירות נכסיה, ולא פירי פירותיהן--לוקחין הפירות, וקונין בהם קרקע, ולוקחין פירות קרקע זו, וקונין בהם קרקע שנייה; והוא אוכל פירות אלו, שהן פירי פירי פירות. וכן הדבר תמיד, עד שיתנה עימה שלא יהיה לו לא פירות ולא פירי פירותיהן עד עולם, ואחר כך לא יהיה לו פירות, בחייה; אבל אם מתה, יירש הכול.

כג,ה התנה עימה שלא יירשנה--הרי זה לא יירשנה, אבל אוכל פירות בחייה. וכן אם התנה עימה שיירש מקצת נכסיה, וכן אם התנה עימה שאם מתה בלא בנים, יחזרו נכסין לבית אביה--הכול קיים.

כג,ו במה דברים אמורים, בשהתנה עימה קודם שתינשא: שהנחלה הבאה לו לאדם שלא ממשפחתו--מתנה עליה שלא יירשנה, קודם שתהיה ראויה לו; אבל אם התנה עימה אחר שנישאת--תנאו בטיל, ויירשנה כמו שביארנו.

כג,ז התנה עימה אחר נישואין, שלא יהיה לו דין ודברים בנכסיה, ולא בפירי פירותיהן עד עולם בחייה, ובמותה--הרי זה אינו אוכל פירות כלל; אבל אם מתה, יירשנה כמו שביארנו.

  • Thank you very much! Just to clarify, she cannot stipulate that the produce/fruits will not go to the husband whether before or after marriage without his agreement?
    – Ovadyah
    Nov 7, 2017 at 16:06
  • @Ovadyah hm I don't know; feel free to ask a new question on that. The default arrangement under the Chupah would give him access to the fruit of her properties, so the Mishna talks about if he offers to unilaterally change that in her favor, and she agrees. For her to go into the marriage trying to change the defaults in her favor without his consent doesn't sound like a healthy relationship. Regardless, at any time in the marriage she can say on her own that all future wealth that comes her way should be exclusively hers.
    – Shalom
    Nov 7, 2017 at 16:23
  • Is the fruit/produce of her estate considered the same as income in halacha? While she can deny him the rights to her income in exchange for him being no longer obligated to provide her with food, would this arrangement include the fruit/produce of her estate as her income?
    – Ovadyah
    Nov 7, 2017 at 16:25
  • The Rambam in Hilchot Ishut 12:4 that you quoted mentioned only her being able to make such a condition regarding income she makes from business or a job. He didn't seem to include the fruit/produce at first glance.
    – Ovadyah
    Nov 7, 2017 at 16:27
  • @Ovadyah correct, she's referring to future income in 12:4. Walking into the marriage (with no other stipulations, assuming the standard deal), she gave him the rights to her property vis-a-vis fruit. So when he consumes some of the fruits a few days after the wedding, that's not her "income"; he's using what's his, and she can't unilaterally take that away.
    – Shalom
    Nov 7, 2017 at 16:57

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