Judge Orders Man to Pay Ex-Wife $215,000 for Chores

If a housewife is a linchpin to a man’s success in the business world, she must be entitled to the rewards for her dedication and service.

A Spanish court ruled that an entrepreneur has to pay his ex-wife $215,000 “as compensation for unpaid domestic work done in the home” during the marriage that lasted 25 years. It’s hard to attribute value to household activities but this amount will be well-received by the exhausted homemaker.

The couple married in June 1995 and shortly after the wedding, they signed a contract that stated the division of assets in the event of a divorce. The document stated that each of them can maintain exclusive ownership of property obtained during the marriage.

The contract proved to be favorable for the man who built several profitable businesses while the wife provided care for the two daughters and attended to domestic chores.

“She was his shadow, working behind him so that he would grow professionally and become something,” the woman’s lawyer explained in the court proceeding. “She spent all that time focusing on her family. In order for her husband to focus on his business projects, she stayed with the girls and they never hired any outside help.”

The wife hit her breaking point when the man refused to pay for her 16-year-old daughter’s higher education, forcing her to work to pay her tuition. She eventually filed for divorce and due to the contract in place, the husband walked away with most of the assets such as an olive oil farm, luxury cars, and real estate property. She only received rights to half of a jointly owned house.

Unsatisfied with the settlement, the woman decided to sue for compensation and fetch a tangible amount for her value.

“She, like many other women, has spent her entire working life dedicated to her daughters while her husband had time to develop his professional career,” lawyer Marta Fuentes said. “And it is important that this is recognized, that the time they have dedicated to their family and not to their professional life has value.”

A housewife can be an angel in the house, and play devil’s advocate in the courtroom. After two years of litigation, “a Malaga judge granted the wife 204,000 euros in compensation for her unpaid domestic work during the 25-year marriage, which the woman’s lawyer said represented the calculated minimum interprofessional salary for the 25 years. The sentence also includes 1,000 euros monthly alimony for the two daughters and a 500 euro pension for their mother.”

In some cases, cooking and cleaning may come with a price tag that only gets settled after a divorce.