This section is from the book "The Law Of Real Property and Other Interests In Land", by Herbert Thorn Dike Tiffany. Also available from Amazon: A Treatise on the Modern Law of Real Property and Other Interests in Land .
The widow, it has been held, may be estopped to claim dower by having made statements to intending purchasers of the land that she will make no such claim,18 but a contrary view has also been asserted, that such a statement is merely a verbal contract, invalid under the Statute of Frauds, to relinquish her interest.19 She has been regarded as
14. 1 Stimson's Am. St. Law, Sec. 3246(c); 1 Sharswood & B. Lead Cas. Real Prop. 387.
15. See 1 Sharswood & B. Lead. Cas. Real Prop. 387; Harding v. Alden, 9 Me. 140, 23 Am. Dec. 549; Davol v. Howland. 14 Mass. 219; Percival v. Percival, 56 Mich. 297: Tatro v. Tatro, 18 Neb. 395, 53 Am. Rep. 821.
But, in the absence of such a statutory provision, the divorced wife is not entitled to dower till the death of the husband. Hunt v. Thompson, 61 Mo. 148.
16. 1 Stimson's Am. St. Law, Sec. 3246(c).
17. Meacham v. Bunting, 156 111. 586, 28 L. R. A. 618, 47 Am. St. Rep. 239, 41 N. E. 175; Wait v. Wait, 4 N. Y. 95; Van Blaricum v. Larson, 205 N. Y. 335. 98 N. E. 488; Contra, Wood v. Wood, 59 Ark. 441, 27 S. W. 641, 28 L. R. A. 157, 43 Am. St. Rep. 42; Kendal: v. Crenshaw, 116 Ark. 427, 173 S. W. 393.
A statute allowing dower to a wife in spite of divorce has been held not to allow it in land acquired by the husband after the divorce. Maynard v. Hill, 125 U S. 190, 216, 31 L. Ed. 654; Van Blaricum v. Larson, 205 N. Y. 335, 98 N. E. 488.
A statute providing that a divorce shall bar all claim by either party to the property of the other has been held to bar a claim for dower in land conveyed by the husband o a stranger before the divorce. Bromley v. McCall, 174 Ky. 415, 192 S. W. 507.
18. Dunlap v. Thomas, 69 Iowa 358; Smiley v. Wright, 2 Ohio, 506; Sweaney v. Mallory, 62 Mo. 485; Dougrey v. Topping, 4 Paige (N. Y.) 94. And see Connolly v. Bran-stler, 3 Bush (Ky.) 702, 96 Am. Dec. 278; Ewart, Estoppel, 27.
19. Wright v. DeGroff, 14 Mich. 164. See also Kelso's Appeal, 102 Pa St. 7.
Sec. 229] not estopped by mere failure to assert her claim at the time of a public sale of her husband's land, although the sale was conducted by her or on her behalf as administratrix;20 but in some eases her conduct in connection with the sale, especially when followed by her sharing of the profits thereof, has been given such an effect.21 It seems that statements made by the widow to the purchaser in ignorance of her rights can not estop her, nor can she be estopped if the purchaser did not rely on her representations.22
Estates Arising From Marriage.
Occasionally the widow has been regarded as estopped from claiming dower as against a purchaser from her husband, who took in ignorance of her existence, by reason of her failure to assert her claims, particularly when the husband was living with one falsely reputed to be his wife.23
Occasionally, under peculiar circumstances, and without an entirely satisfactory explanation of the theory of the decisions, a widow has been regarded as estopped to claim dower, by reason of covenants of title
20. Owen v. Slatter, 26 Ala. 547; Sip v. Lawback, 17 N. J. L. 442; Foley v. Boulware, 86 Mo. App. 674; Motley v. Motley, 53 Neb. 375, 68 Am. St. Rep. 608, 73 N. W. 738; Lawrence v. Brown, 5 N. Y. 394. But see Jeffries v. Allen, 34 S. C. 109, 13 S. E. 365; Dougrey v. Topping, 4 Paige (N. Y.) 94.
21. Allen v. Allen, 112 111. 323; Ellis v. Diddy, 1 Ind. 561; Wire v. Wyman, 93 Ind. 392; Schweitzer v. Wagner, 94 Ky. 458, 22 S. W. S83; Tarnow v. Carmichael, 82 Neb. 1, 116 N. W. 1031; Wood v. Seeley, 32 N. Y. 105.
22. Martien v. Norris, 91 Mo. 465, 3 S. W. 849.
23. De France v. Johnson, 26 Fed. 891; Gilbert v. Reynolds, 51 111. 513; H. W. Wright Lumber Co. v. McCord, 145 Wis. 93. 34 L R. A. (N. S.) 762, Ann. Cas. 1912 B., 92; Compare Lohmeyer v. Dur-bin, 213 111. 498, 72 N. E. 1118; Dunn v. Portsmouth Sav. Bank, 103 Iowa, 538, 72 N. W. 687; Norton v. Tufts, 19 Utah 470, 57 Pac. 409, and see note in 30 Harv. Law Rev. at p. 647.
It has been held, most properly, it would seem, that there is no estoppel by reason of her living apart from her husband (Cruize v. Billmire. by lowa 397, 28 N. W 657;) even though with another man. Reel v. Elder, 62 Pa. St. 308.