All Wife's Money & Properties Belong to Husband

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  • #595709
    Grandmaster
    Member

    Under halacha, generally all of a wife’s money and property (including what she earns from working) belongs to her husband and not her. There are a few exceptions like her wedding ring and property she owned before marriage. My question is, what is the practical effect of this halacha?

    #750323

    not sure about the practicle effect….but after Mortage, tuition tzedakah, 401k plan, food etc….there isn’t much left…so I haven’t really given it any thought

    #750325
    mdd
    Member

    She has the right to tell her husband:”Do not support me, and I’ll keep my earnings”.

    #750326
    LSH
    Member

    Just my opinion – Most people these days insist on separate fianances (checking accounts etc.) just in case they will divorce which is considered a practical step seeing that at least 50% of couples will divorce (which didn’t happen so frequently just 50 years ago). When the money belongs to the man and the wife cannot inherit the man this greatly reduces the risk that she’ll do various despicable things to her husband which do happen these days. The man is obligated to have children and not pay for them which gets rid of the need for child support cases where the lawyers are able to take advantage of people in an emotionally vulnerable state. I think it causes the couple to try harder and acheive peace with each other. The Torah does talk about cases where the woman gets angry at her husband and that the solution in some cases is to bring an offering (for example after giving birth). Maybe she’d have to give an offering after having any bad thoughts about her husband. I think he’d have to pay for that and I would guess that after awhile he’d start being nicer.

    #750327
    charliehall
    Participant

    In healthy marriages, the spouses come to agreement on financial matters. If there is a practical effect of this halachah, it must not be a very good marriage.

    #750328

    Most people these days insist on separate fianances (checking accounts etc.)

    not sure if this is the case, but I don’t

    #750329
    SJSinNYC
    Member

    Grandmaster,

    Considering that most men are either supported by their wives or their wives are working along side with them, this halacha has limited practical application.

    I would also be suspect of a family where the man says “Its all mine and you are under my thumb.”

    #750330
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    SJS: Halachicly it is true, even if the wife works and the husband learns, unless she says I want to keep my money (which in that case he does not have to feed her (which as you pointed out, may be true anyway)).

    Besides, this is only for “earnings”. Presents given from husband to wife are excluded.

    In healthy marriages, the spouses come to agreement on financial matters. If there is a practical effect of this halachah, it must not be a very good marriage.

    Well said. My guess is the practial part comes in only if they C”V divorce.

    #750331

    BS”D

    Doesn’t the wife belong to the husband as chattel as well? Or is it that the husband belongs to the shvigger?

    #750332
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    My question is, what is the practical effect of this halacha?

    For us, it has no effect. All our money goes into the communal pot — regardless of who earns it.

    The Wolf

    #750333
    ZachKessin
    Member

    Yea, my wife and I share all money. We are married not room mates!

    #750334
    Grandmaster
    Member

    She has the right to tell her husband:”Do not support me, and I’ll keep my earnings”.

    She has to verbalize this to do this. This isn’t commonly done. And if it is, she loses rights she was entitled to from her kesuba (i.e. support).

    Most people these days insist on separate fianances (checking accounts etc.) just in case they will divorce

    Separate finances doesn’t change this halacha, even if it is a case of divorce. He is still be entitled to all the marital assets (sans the specific exceptions) in a divorce case.

    If there is a practical effect of this halachah, it must not be a very good marriage.

    I believe this halacha actually makes better marriages. Why would you say following a halacha makes a marriage worse??

    For us, it has no effect. All our money goes into the communal pot — regardless of who earns it.

    Perhaps in your individual circumstances it has no effect for some reason. But the fact that it goes into a communal pot doesn’t negate its effect. The communal pot, per halacha, is yours and not hers.

    #750335

    “For us, it has no effect. All our money goes into the communal pot — regardless of who earns it”

    same here Wolf…

    #750336

    I don’t know how you all can even be in a situation where you have to wonder about these things.

    My wife knows who the boss is.

    When its time to eat, its service with a smile or do it over.

    When dishes need to doing she knows not to interrupt me when I’m twiddling my thumbs doing nothing.

    I own her and she…uh oh

    Wife’s coming don’t tell her I was here. Qui..

    #750337
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Perhaps in your individual circumstances it has no effect for some reason. But the fact that it goes into a communal pot doesn’t negate its effect. The communal pot, per halacha, is yours and not hers.

    Unless I will it otherwise, which I do.

    The Wolf

    #750338
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    She has to verbalize this to do this. This isn’t commonly done. And if it is, she loses rights she was entitled to from her kesuba (i.e. support).

    She obviously gives up the right to support. I don’t believe she gives up her rights with regard to payment at the termination of the marriage. Nor does she give up her non-economic rights as well.

    The Wolf

    #750339
    ZachKessin
    Member

    In our life there is no money that is “Mine” and none that is “hers” it is “ours” we decide how to spend it together.

    #750340
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Derech HaMelech

    LOL! I think the big fat greek comment applies here as well (which has been quoted many times here in the CR):

    Ma, Dad is so stubborn. What he says goes. “Ah, the man is the head of the house!”

    Let me tell you something. The man is the head, but the woman is the neck. And she can turn the head any way she wants.

    #750341
    mewho
    Participant

    derech thanks for your cute pre purim psot

    #750342
    yaff80
    Participant

    Its no-wonder divorce rates are so high. Marriage is an equal partnership not king and maidservant.

    A man is to treat his wife as queen, and she is to treat him as king.

    Taking a stronghold on finances could be a form of abuse.

    Having separate accounts, you may as well live separatly and meet up occssionaly for meals.

    Marriage should be done as a life long commitment, not with your eyes on divorce in a few years time. Working things out at the start of a marriage with arrangements in place for a divorce, sends a message to each other that divorce is on the cards, and its a matter of “when” not “if”

    As for the original question: “what is the practical effect of this halacha?” I think the answer lies in what the property produces in the interim. Lets say the lady brings in a tree at the time of marriage, the tree belong to the husband whilst they are married. When they call it quits, the tree returns to the lady, but any fruits that were produced during their time together, belong to him. A modern example? Say she owns a property at the time of marriage, the property belongs to the husband whilst they are married. When they end it, the property returns to the lady, but any rental income during their time together, belong to him.

    Also I think it makes a difference regarding the $100 bill she finds on the street.

    #750343
    dvorak
    Member

    There is little practical effect in our situation. Just because the halacha says the money is my husband’s, doesn’t mean he can keep me out of the loop. We both know how much money is coming in/going out, what our credit scores are, where all our money goes etc. We never hide purchases from each other. We pay our bills and file our taxes together to that we both know what is going on. It is so important that regardless of who is making the money, or who the assets ‘belong’ to, BOTH spouses at least know the general financial situation.

    #750344
    shlishi
    Member

    one practical effect is that if she damages (mazik) something, she cant be forced to pay for the damages since she has no money (as any money belongs to her husband and he isnt legally liable in b”d to pay for her damages.)

    #750345
    charliehall
    Participant

    “He is still be entitled to all the marital assets (sans the specific exceptions) in a divorce case.”

    In places where marital property is divided according to Spanish “communal property” law — which includes ten states in the US — this can not be done.

    #750346
    charliehall
    Participant

    “He is still be entitled to all the marital assets (sans the specific exceptions) in a divorce case.”

    Also, under federal law she is entitled to half her pension moneys.

    #750347
    shlishi
    Member

    charliehall, you’re mistaken. Torah law trumps secular law. if the Torah says all the assets are his, even if secular law says 50/50 in divorce, she would not halachicly be allowed to demand that in secular court.

    the only thing the secular divorce court should be asked to do (by either side) is to issue a divorce certificate. they should not be asked or made involved in asset separation, as that is a halachic matter. both sides can advise the court they dont want the court to decide how to separate the marital assets. there is no reason the court couldnt accommodate that request if it is agreed to by both sides (as it should be) that they’ll separate the assets in a halachic manner outside of court. and even if the court issued a ruling on asset separation that differs from what the Torah says that, gives her more than she is halachicly entitled to, she would be halachicly required to return to him any funds or assets that she wasn’t halachicly entitled to.

    #750348
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    the only thing the secular divorce court should be asked to do (by either side) is to issue a divorce certificate. they should not be asked or made involved in asset separation, as that is a halachic matter.

    Have you never heard of “Kim Li”?

    Also, the husband or wife will use children as leverage to get money, or the opposite.

    #750349
    shlishi
    Member

    “Have you never heard of “Kim Li”?”

    kim li is only an issue if she had the money (or asset) in the first place. since al pi din, as the husband, he owns (muchzak) the money and assets before the beis din trial began, this point wouldnt be relevant. so she couldnt demand secular law trump Torah law, and hence he be made to remit 50% of his money to her. (besides, is there even a minority opinion that holds that secular law trumps Torah law in a monetary matter than halacha deals with?)

    #750350
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Shlishi:

    Or if she is holding onto it. For Karka (the family home), you would probably be correct.

    For joint assets such as bank accounts, etc. just her threat to withhold permission to divide Al Pi Halacha (and go through secular court) might be enough, via the din of Ei Shaskis. I am not a Dayan, so someone who knows more about it could elucidate more.

    One can usually find an opinion that agrees with what you want, if you look hard enough.

    #750351
    charliehall
    Participant

    “if the Torah says all the assets are his, even if secular law says 50/50 in divorce, she would not halachicly be allowed to demand that in secular court. “

    That is a problem in community property jurisdictions. Basically, the husband has no right whatsoever to half his earnings from the very day they are earned. They aren’t his, they never were his, he never established a kinyan. Any dayanim in California able to address this?

    #750352
    ItcheSrulik
    Member

    I’m learning the sugya now. I’ll bring that up tomorrow.

    #750353
    shlishi
    Member

    gavra wrote: “For joint assets such as bank accounts, etc. just her threat to withhold permission to divide Al Pi Halacha (and go through secular court) might be enough, via the din of Ei Shaskis. I am not a Dayan, so someone who knows more about it could elucidate more.”

    im not proficient with ei shaskis, so perhaps you can fill that in. nevertheless, for her to threaten to violate halacha through seizing the joint account via the secular court, wouldnt be much different than someone threatening to rob the house of someone on an extended trip overseas unless he signed the dotted lines agreeing to x, y, and z. it’s halachic theft in either case. a wife cannot, even while happily married, make a donation to tzedaka (tzedaka no less!) if her husband doesnt allow her to (s”a 248:4)! so here were she is sure he doesnt allow her to take the money, surely it is theft.

    gavra wrote: “One can usually find an opinion that agrees with what you want, if you look hard enough.”

    if this point were correct, it would effectively mean you can negate repaying almost anyone in any dispute if you have possession (muchzak). that would seem to border on the preposterous. also, doesnt relying on an opinion for kim li need to be a rishon or achron (not just any rabbi in the phone book)?

    charliehall wrote: “That is a problem in community property jurisdictions. Basically, the husband has no right whatsoever to half his earnings from the very day they are earned. They aren’t his, they never were his, he never established a kinyan.”

    two points: a) community property jurisdictions (in secular law) mean it is joint ownership, where each party has 100% ownership of it and right to use it. (not 50% each.) so if he earns $1000 a week at work, he (and she) owns the full $1000; not just $500. so he made a “kinyan” on the full funds and he has full rights to the full funds. b) even if i were wrong about point a, and that were not the case, he (and not she) made a full kinyan halachicly and is the owner exclusively, for the halachic reasons as discussed by the op and throughout the thread. (as she cannot halachicly make a kinyan; it is only his to make the kinyan on.)

    #750354
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    so if he earns $1000 a week at work, he (and she) owns the full $1000; not just $500. so he made a “kinyan” on the full funds and he has full rights to the full funds.

    I opened up a side discussion (not wanting to take the focus off of husband/wife issues) on the point of making a valid kinyan at the following thread:

    Kinyan

    The Wolf

    #2010282
    ujm
    Participant

    The Halacha is that a man is obligated to support his wife financially. In exchange, Chazal decreed that whatever money the woman earns belongs to her husband. (However a woman has the option to waive her right to be supported by her husband, in which case she retains whatever she earns.) The question is if the husband does not actually support her, does he nonetheless acquire his wife’s earnings?

    The Chazon Ish (EH 70:6) rules that even if the husband supported his wife only at the very beginning of the marriage, he still retains ownership of all her subsequent income. Since he was providing for her when she earned her first paycheck, he acquired that paycheck. When he uses that money to support her, he has provided her needs with his own money. That entitles him to acquire the next paycheck. This cycle repeats itself, causing the husband to perpetually acquire his wife’s income.

    #2010283
    ujm
    Participant

    The Halacha is that a married woman may give a small amount of her husband’s money to Tzedaka without his knowledge. We can assume that the husband allows her to do so. The size of this donation depends on the financial standing of the household.

    However, if the husband specifically said that he does not want her to make any donations, then she can’t give any money to Tzedaka. (Shulchan Aruch 248:4)

    Aruch Hashulchan (YD 248: 11, 13) rules that in a society where Bais Din is unable to compel people to give an appropriate amount of Tzedaka, a wife (of someone who gives less than halachicly required) is permitted to be the one to force her husband to give by doing so without his knowledge. However, Aruch Hashulchan emphasizes that this can only be done based on the directive of the local Rav, who determines that according to this person’s wealth we would force him to donate this amount.

    Shevet Halevi (Vol.5 132:7) disagrees with this ruling. He references the Halacha (YD 148:1) that even when Bais Din forces a person to give Tzedaka, they may only take his property in his presence, with his knowledge. Surely the wife, even if she is acting on the directive of the Rav, has no more authority than Bais Din.

    #2010343
    ujm
    Participant

    Mods, please move this thread to DECAFFEINATED. TY

     אם פגע בך מנוול זה משכהו לבית המדרש

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