A Spanish court has ordered a businessman to pay his ex-wife £180,000 for 25 years of unpaid domestic labour, based on the minimum wage throughout their marriage.
Ivana Moral’s husband was ordered to pay her 204,624.86 euros – just over £182,000 – in a record divorce settlement which was made public today.
Judge Laura Ruiz Alaminos, sitting at a court in Velez-Malaga in southern Spain, calculated the figure based on the annual minimum wage throughout the couple’s marriage, the i news website reports.
The separated couple share two daughters and the ruling states that Ivana had spent almost all of her time looking after their family and working as a housewife during their marriage.
Ivana’s husband must also pay her a pension equivalent to £444 per month as well as £356 and £533 to his two daughters, who are now aged 20 and 14.
The mother-of-two, who wed her ex in 1995 before asking for a divorce in 2020, has said she is happy with the payout after years of hard work.
‘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,’ she told i.
‘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.’
Since marrying, Ivana had dedicated herself ‘to essentially working in the home, which meant looking after the home and the family and all that involves,’ the ruling said.
The couple’s marriage was governed by a separation of property regime, which Ms Moral’s husband had asked her to sign at the start of their marriage.
It specified that whatever each party earned was theirs alone, with them only sharing possessions.
The arrangement would have left Ms Moral with no access to any of the wealth acquired through years of partnership.
She told i that she has now spoken out about her case as she wants women to know what they are entitled to.
Legal papers showed a breakdown of what she would have earned annually for the years between June 1995 and December 2020.
Speaking to Cadena Ser radio, Ivana said her husband did not ‘want her to work’ outside the home.
He would only let her work at the gyms he owned, where she handled ‘public relations and acted as a monitor’.
Otherwise, she said, ‘I have dedicated myself exclusively to housework, looking after my husband and the house,’ she said.
‘He made me take on the specific role’ of doing domestic chores, to the extent that ‘I was in a place where I couldn’t really do much else,’ she said.
The sentence had made her ‘very happy’ because it was ‘very well deserved’, she said.
Ms Moral’s ex-husband, who only wanted to split their home and possessions following the divorce , is expected to appeal the decision.