Court Orders Woman to Be Paid $215K for Unpaid Housework


A judge in Spain ruled that a woman’s ex-husband must compensate her for housework during their marriage while he built his business

After 48-year-old Ivana Moral took care of all the housework and family care duties in her 25-year marriage, a Spanish court now says she should be paid for it—a decision women will be cheering all over the world.

The court in Velez-Malaga, southern Spain, ruled that Moral should be paid Є204,624.86 ($215,664) by her ex-husband to compensate her for 25 years of unpaid housework and other duties. The figure is based on 25 years of work under Spain’s minimum wage.

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Moral argued in court that she “exclusively” took care of the household—including the former couple’s two children—and that she wasn’t able to pursue building her own career because of “her exclusive dedication to the home and family.” Meanwhile, her ex “accumulated and exponentially increased his assets,” including a thriving gym business that allowed him to make lavish purchases—but only for himself.

One of the most horrifying details from the court documents is that, despite his personal wealth, Moral’s ex-husband refused to pay for basic necessities like school for his daughters. Moral was unable to pay because she was too busy keeping up the house and raising the girls to get a job of her own.

“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 were left with nothing after all these years of putting all my time, energy, and love in the family,” Moral said. “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’s attorney, Marta Fuentes, says this ruling represents hope for anyone who has been the victim of financial abuse.

“This ruling represents the labour 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,” she said. “So he could get on in his career, she stayed at home to look after the children, and they never contacted anyone to help her. She was his shadow, working behind [him] so he could rise professionally and become someone.”


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