While most divorce settlements don’t make headlines, the ones that do turn heads do so for a reason. Are you ready for this one? Are you taking notes? (I kid, I kid.) Because a woman in Spain received a record divorce settlement from her ex-husband—for 25 years of unpaid housework.
In March, a court officially ordered 48-year-old Ivana Moral to be paid Є204,000 (about $215,000) from her ex-husband after the judge ruled she was owed the compensation for doing unpaid housework during their marriage.
Judge Laura Ruiz Alaminos, sitting at a court in Velez-Malaga in southern Spain, calculated the payment based on the minimum monthly professional wage for the years the couple was married.
In addition to the payout, Moral’s ex-husband must also pay her a monthly pension of €500 (about $528) as well as €400 and €600 to the couple’s two daughters, ages 20 and 14.
EuroNews reports that Moral stated she “exclusively” handled the couple’s housework during their marriage. She also argued that she wasn’t able to pursue her own career because of her “exclusive dedication to the home and family,” while her ex-husband—who has not been named in the report—built a gym business that quickly increased his assets and became very lucrative. Moral claims her ex also refused to pay for one of their daughter’s schooling when she turned 16.
“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 tells EuroNews.
“I was supporting my husband in his work and in the family as a mother and a father,” she added. “I was never allowed access to his financial affairs; everything was in his name.”
Moral’s divorce payout may be one of a kind, but her experience as a mom and wife are, unfortunately, all too common even now.
“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,” Moral’s attorney, Marta Fuentes, tells iNews.
“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 continued. “She was his shadow, working behind [him] so he could rise professionally and become someone.”
A version of this story was originally published on March 10, 2023. It has been updated.