– Wife Wang demanded compensation from ex-husband Chen for leaving all the childbearing and household chores to her
– The ruling comes in the wake of a new civil code in China where an individual has the right to seek compensation from a spouse for services rendered
– The case has stirred debate on social media as netizens try to crack the monetary value of domestic work
Just how much value can you attach to household chores like washing dishes, babysitting and doing laundry, especially if done by a spouse?
That is the subject of debate across the world after a landmark ruling in China where a divorce court has ordered husband Chen to pay his estranged wife Wang 50,000 yuan (N2,950,329.48) as compensation for the five years she ‘worked’ for him as a wife, The Guardian reports.
The ruling comes in the wake of a new civil code in China which states that an individual has the right to seek compensation from a former spouse if, during the period of the marriage, they handled unpaid housework including primary care for children and elderly parents.
According to judge Feng Miao of Beijing’s Fangshan District Court, while the division of tangible property is possible because the value can be attached, housework cannot.
“Housework can improve the ability of the other spouse to achieve personal, individual academic growth, and this is not reflected in the tangible property.”
The complainant Wang indicated that Chen left all the burden of childrearing and raising their child to her while he was busy working.
“He didn’t care about or participate in any kind of chores.”
Chen and Wang got married in 2015 but went separate ways in 2018, after which their son was taken up by Wang.
When Chen officially filed for divorce in 2020, Wang requested part of the property the two owned as well as 50,000 yuan (N2,950,329.48) in financial compensation.
The court ruling awarded custody of the couple’s son to Wang and ordered Chen to deposit 2,000 yuan (N118,013.18) monthly in Wang’s account for upkeep.
Given that it is a never-heard-before ruling, the case has stirred debate on social media as netizens try to crack the monetary value of domestic work.
A Weibo user said:
“Everyone who has done housework knows that doing housework is no easier than going to work, it’s often harder.”
“The key thing about being a full-time wife is that you lose your career growth opportunities. After a while, your future career will be discounted a lot, and there is no way to measure this with money.”
Someone also wrote:
“I’m a bit speechless, the work of a full-time housewife is being underestimated. In Beijing, hiring a nanny for a year costs more than 50,000 yuan.”
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that a woman sued her boyfriend for wasting her time and not marrying her even after being together for eight years.
Twenty-six-year-old Gertrude Ngoma told a Zambian court she was tired of waiting to get married to Herbert Salaliki, 28, who promised to wed her
Joseph Omotayo writes for the human interest desk at Legit.ng. He graduated from Obafemi Awolowo University with a degree in Literature in English. He loves basketball and books. He tweets @omotayome.