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Full Access De paternis et maternis bonis, On CT 3.8.2, NT 14 and its adaptation by Justinian

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De paternis et maternis bonis, On CT 3.8.2, NT 14 and its adaptation by Justinian

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CT 3.8.2 (382 AD) and NT 14 (439 AD) protected the interests of the children in case one of their parents died and the other one married again. The constitution of 382 AD imposed an obligation on the remarried widow to preserve the assets she had received from her predeceased husband (so called bona paterna, especially: gifts before marriage) and to transfer these bona to the children mortis causa or inter vivos. Infringement of this obligation gave rise to an action in damages. The constitution NT 14 extended the obligation to a widower who had received bona materna from his predeceased wife (especially: dowry). In case of the remaining spouse's remarriage, the children were to have a so called 'dominium' in the bona paterna / materna, and dispositions of the remarried spouse in violation of its obligations towards the children were declared to be void. The way by which the constitution made the children owner of the bona paterna / materna was rather complicated. It required the children to accept the inheritance either of the predeceased or (later) of the surviving parent. The difficulties arising from this construct were overcome by the use of legal ctions, which are – at rst glance – hard to understand, but all in all consistent. Justinian returned to a more simple solution by a ording ownership to the children and only an usufruct to the surviving spouse.


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