Chinese Man to Pay wife for housework in Court’s Landmark Ruling

Although Wang was initially reluctant to divorce, she later filed for the division of property and financial compensation.

chinese court new civil court
New Chinese Civil Code orders to pay partners for housework. Image via Facebook The Talk

A China court has set a landmark precedent for women with compensation for unpaid housework and child care responsibilities. A Beijing court has ordered the husband to pay his wife 50,000 Yuan, i.e., equivalent of $7,700 for five years of housework and other responsibilities. With surname Chen who sought a divorce in 2020 from his wife after 5 years of marriage, the Chinese man was asked for financial compensation by his wife. The wife, surnamed Wang, pleaded that Chen had not been involved in housework, and she took up the primary childcare responsibilities of their son. She said that Chen didn’t help or care about any house chores and left the childrearing alone.

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The couple has been separated for three years, while the son lived with Wang. The case which was heard in Beijing’s Fangshan District Court was titled in her favor, and the court asked Chen to pay the wife monthly alimony of 2,000 Yuan and 50,000 Yuan in a one-time payment for the housework she has done in the five years of marriage. Wang has also been granted custody of their son.

Chinese Court Landmark Ruling After New Civil Code

China has introduced a new civil code last month. A partner can seek financial compensation if he/she has primarily shouldered the child care responsibilities and elderly care or has done most of the household work. Although the amount can be negotiated between the two parties, if an amicable solution is not reached, the court may decide the compensation. The new civil code covers personal rights and family and contract law. This case is the first to set a monetary compensation on housework after introducing the new civil code in China. Previously, divorcing couples can only claim such compensation if there was a pre-nuptial agreement between them, which is a rare practice in China.

‘Housework’ accounts for Intangible property: Chinese Court Judge

compensation for unpaid housework

As the presiding Judge ‘Feng Miao’ spoke to reporters about the case, he said that the housework accounts for an intangible property when it comes to the division of property. It may indirectly be one of the factors which lead to improving the other spouse’s personal and professional growth.

As the news of the first-time ruling broke, social media was abuzz with prompt reactions. While some users called 50,000 Yuan a little amount to compensate for five years of unpaid work, others called upon women to empower themselves by continuing their careers even after marriage.

According to research by OECD (Organisation for economic cooperation and Development), women in China spend an average of four hours a day on household work. This accounts for 2.5 times that of the men in China.


AvatarI write stories & news based on Politics, Religion, Health & Lifestyle, Culture, and Technology & Science. I aim to update my readers with the latest news in and around the globe and also familiarize them with the ancient facts and mysteries that surround us. I also love to read, travel, and spend time with my kids.

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