Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: As salam alaykum,
These days it is becoming a norm for a woman to demand very high dower and some of them stipulate that this amount should be payed only if they end up divorced. Other stipulate for the amount to be payed in installments during the marriage.
Is it permissible?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,
The dower (mahr) is a consequence of the marriage contract, and a legal right afforded to the woman. However, its specific amount is determined by a number of factors such as locality, and issues related to the woman herself.
As for your specific questions:
(1) She is legally due half of the agreed upon amount immediately after contracting the marriage, and the remaining half after consummation.
(2) The method of payment returns to the couple. They can agree on instalments, or any other method of payment that ensures she gets her right.
Please also see: Some Rulings Related to the Dowry and: How Much Should I Ask to Get for a Marriage Dowry (Mahr)?
And consider taking the following free class: Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life
And Allah knows best.
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani