when the marriage is dissolved it is extinguished, because it cannot exist without  it,1 but divorce must be distinguished from a separation from  bed and board.>2  3<One may not have two lawful wives at the same time,4 since 5marriage is the joining  together of a man and a woman holding to a single tenor of life;6 it does not say of  men and a woman, nor of a man and women, because one man cannot have several  wives nor one woman several husbands7de jure, though he may have several de  facto,8 so that sometimes none of those who claim9 may be lawful, because she who  is lawful is not present, or dead, and [the husband being dead], she who was once  unlawful can never be made lawful, and thus no one of those who claim will obtain  dower.> And the same, so it seems, may be said if an unfree woman is joined to a  freeman and taken to a free tenement, that their child, born in a free bed,10 will  have the inheritance and the woman no dower, unless the heir provides dower for  her as a matter of grace, because with the death of her free husband she returns to  her original state of servitude.11
Of two women contending for dower.
 The tenant will answer to neither one of two women claiming dower by reason of one  husband until the ecclesiastical court has decided which of them ought to be called  the lawful wife, and which ought to prevail in the claim of dower, as will be explained  more fully below, at the end.12 When the tenant says that he ought not to answer two  women or several, we must first see whether there is a dispute as to the inheritance  between two or several who claim to be lawful heirs, [for] when the question of  succession and of dower are both raised at the same time, the action for the inheritance  will always be preliminary and must be determined first, lest, if the women are  sent to court christian to determine which of them is the lawful wife, and one of  them proves herself lawful in the ecclesiastical court and the heir of the other proves  himself the lawful heir in the secular court, he would be the warrantor of the other  woman's dower, which ought not to be. Thus when each of them alleges at the outset  that her son is the warrantor of her dower, in order to avoid that embarrassment it is  necessary first to ascertain who the lawful heir is, and the dower of which woman he  ought to warrant, and in that way the question of dower will be determined. When  one heir is in possession of the inheritance (rightfully or wrongfully) and his mother  in possession of dower, if a woman who has nothing alleges that she is the lawful  wife and claims dower, let her first show the warrantor of her dower. If she names a  son or daughter, her claim of dower is suspended and let the son or daughter claim  the whole
1. Tancred, Summa de matrimonio, 108: Dos quaedam donatio . . . Eius natura est ut durante matrimonio durat, soluto vero solvatur, quia sine eo esse non poterit