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A court in China has just opened the proverbial "Pandora's Box" in my opinion. Siding with the ex-wife in a divorce settlement, the woman, only identified as Wang, was just awarded $7,700 by the court as compensation for all the housework she did during the five years the couple spent together.

According to the article from CNN, Wang took care of the couple's child and ran solo on house cleanup and from what we've read, her husband "barely cared about or participated in any kind of domestic chores."

Along with the $7,700 the court ordered him to pay for "housework compensation", she was also awarded $300 per month in support.

So, you might wonder where my perspective comes from in the opening statement that the court has opened Pandora's box? Let me explain.

First and foremost, I don't think $7,700 comes anywhere near the value of what she's done for five full years. We're talking about hundreds of loads of dishes and laundry. Taking out trash, dusting, making beds and everything else that goes into that job. Add the value of child care and I'm thinking we are talking more like a value of $50,000 instead of $7,700. But now this court has established a precedent of the "perceived value" of the occupation and I'm pretty certain they fell short of the mark, by a long way.

Secondly, now that they've made this award, and I'm sure Mr. "Wang" was deserving of the judgement, I'm assuming that during this five year period, he had some type of job outside the home for which he was compensated.

If I understand this correctly, she was awarded half of the couple's joint belongings and was awarded this additional payment as well. That means she received HALF of what he earned outside the home and ALL of what was deemed the value of what she did at home. This is where I'm a little confused. Didn't she live there too? Weren't some of those her dirty dishes and dirty clothes? Wasn't the bed that needed making, half of hers as well?

Please don't think I'm a proponent of not helping out with household chores by both parties, but if the couple decided that he would work outside the home and she would work from home, wasn't there some type of team concept defined?

I'll explain. If her contribution to the team was that of domestic duties and his position was that of outside "bread winner", and she was entitled to half of what he earned outside the home, why is he not also eligible to receive half of what she "earned" from her domestic occupation?

And now they've established a system of "keeping score" with marital duties, did he ever change a light bulb? What's that value? Did he move furniture around or do maintenance on the couple's vehicle? What's the value?

I'd hate to think that at some point in the future, everything done by the parties of a marriage is given some type of monetary value. I feel we've really missed the boat if a marriage becomes more of a ledger balance than a real partnership.

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