What is more difficult: Running a household or running a corporation? The answer depends on who you ask. High-level corporate execs will argue that their jobs require long hours, analytical minds, and a certain degree of ruthlessness. On the other hand, stay-at-home parents will insist that they have the most difficult job on the planet – and it is difficult to argue with them on that point. So, who is correct? Perhaps that question will never truly be answered. But one court in Spain has made an interesting ruling that proves being a homemaker does deserve compensation – at least in one particular case.
Woman Gets Over $200,000 for Unpaid Housework
A court in Spain recently awarded a woman over $200,000 for unpaid housework in a divorce case that is stealing headlines across the globe. The 48-year-old woman apparently did all of the work around the house during her 25-year marriage. The court did not come to this number arbitrarily. They calculated her settlement based on minimum monthly professional wage limits during those 25 years, and she would have earned about $205,000 if she had been paid during this period.
This is, of course, nothing new – although the lump-sum payment is notable. In the United States, stay-at-home spouses may also receive favorable settlements due to their contributions over the years – even if those contributions were non-financial in nature. This is usually handled as part of the equitable distribution process, which is followed by most states.
This is only possible due to the high levels of financial success experienced by the husband. His gym business was so successful that he was able to purchase a Porsche, a Range Rover, several BMW motorbikes, and a 173-acre farm. This farm proved to be a valuable acquisition, providing about $4,000 per month in mostly passive income through olive agriculture.
This story made headlines because it is seen as a victory for stay-at-home parents – something that is not always experienced by American counterparts. Speaking about her experiences, the Spanish ex-wife explained:
“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.”
While the mother made the decision to stay at home to take care of the kids and the household, it also deprived her of the ability to pursue a career. She also states that while her ex-husband was off driving Porsches and motorcycles, she was struggling to pay for school supplies for her daughters.
Spain is an Outlier
Could we see something similar in the United States? Maybe. But it’s worth mentioning that Spain is an outlier when it comes to divorce laws. Remember, this is the same country that gives divorcing spouses the ability to create custody agreements for their dogs and cats. Some might argue that the country is ahead of its time. Others might argue that the courts are interfering too much in divorces – despite their best intentions.