Dowry paid by a husband to his wife. Becomes the property of the wife to spend, save, or invest as she pleases, although in some countries it is often taken by the bride's family. Can be either money or property. May be paid all at once or split into two payments, one upon marriage and the other at a time stipulated in the marriage contract, such as upon the death of the husband or divorce. Required in order for the marriage contract and the marriage itself to be valid.
See also Marriage and Divorce: Modern Practices