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Man ordered to pay his ex-wife $215k for 25 years of housework during their marriage, sparking debate

Judge Laura Ruiz Alaminos based the amount on Spain's minimum monthly professional income for the 25 years they were married.

Man ordered to pay his ex-wife $215k for 25 years of housework during their marriage, sparking debate
Cover Image Source: Getty Images/photo by Izusek

Women often spend a lot of their time doing household chores but are rarely appreciated or credited for it. According to a study conducted in 2020 by IWPR, women in the US spend two more hours each day doing chores like cleaning, cooking, taking care of children, and doing other unpaid work than men. So it does not come as a surprise when a 48-year-old woman in Spain was ordered to be paid €204,000 (about $215,000) from her former husband as compensation for doing unpaid housework during their marriage, according to PEOPLE

A court in Velez-Malaga in Southern Spain ruled that Ivana Moral, a 48-year-old woman, must be paid compensation for the unpaid housework during their 25-years marriage. Judge Laura Ruiz Alaminos based the amount on Spain's minimum monthly professional income for the 25 years they were married. She will reportedly also be given a monthly pension of €500 (about $528) from her ex-husband.

Mid adult woman washing up at kitchen sink - stock photo - Getty Images | Zak Kendal
Mid-adult woman washing up at kitchen sink - stock photo - Getty Images | Zak Kendal

 

Moreover, the ex-husband also has to pay €400 (£356) and €600 (£533) to their daughters, who are now 20 and 14 years old. Ivana Moral claimed that she "exclusively" managed the household chores during their marriage. She added that she also contributed "punctually" to the family business, where she did the cleaning, according to EuroNews.

Also, she stated that during that time, she could not pursue her own career because of "her exclusive dedication to the home and family" while her ex-husband "accumulated and exponentially increased his assets." He reportedly built a flourishing gym business and bought a Porsche Cayenne, a Range Rover 4×4, BMW motorbikes, and a 70-hectare olive oil farm, which was valued at €4m. The woman claimed that her ex-husband refused to pay for her daughter's education when she turned 16.

The couple married in 1995, but Moral asked for a divorce in 2020. She said that when they got married, her ex-husband asked Moral to sign a separation of goods agreement, which meant that he kept all his wealth and split common possessions.

Feeling lonely and vulnerable - Getty Images | Olga Rolenko
Feeling lonely and vulnerable - Getty Images | Olga Rolenko

 

“Clearly this was a case of abuse to be completely excluded financially (by my ex-husband) with nothing left after my marriage ended, so me and my daughters and were left with nothing after all these years of putting all my time, energy, and love in the family,” Moral told inews. “I was supporting my husband in his work and in the family as a mother and a father. I was never allowed access to his financial affairs; everything was in his name.”

Moral hopes that her case would inspire other women. “The reason I decided to speak to the media is I wanted women to know that we can claim for housework when there is a separation of goods agreement,” she said.

Marta Fuentes, the lawyer for Moral, said: “This ruling represents the labor of all the women in the shadows and who, without a doubt, constitute a fundamental support in personal, marital, and familiar terms during years and years so that the ex-husband could develop his professional career and a rise in wealth which at the moment of separation could not share."