I have read before that it is very expensive to hire help to perform all of the service of a housewife (not including anything in the bedroom).
In 1979, a young attorney named Michael H. Minton successfully argued that a housewife was worth more than $40,000 a year. The public snorted and the press made fun, but the ramifications proved enormous. When the dust finally settled, the 33-year-old Chicago lawyer had catapulted matrimonial law into an entirely new arena.
Point here is not to add up the value of a wife. Point is, I found that article while searching google for “economic value of husband.” Presumably, the attorney had to come up with the value of a housewife exactly because a paycheck was not readily available. Does that imply that a guy is only worth his paycheck, and therefore there’s no point adding up anything else he does?
The Gallagher trial proved rancorous and protracted, and after it was over, legal actions dragged it out another year. But ultimately, the court did admit that the services of a homemaker had economic value. While it declined to place a price tag on them, the judge in the case awarded Mrs. Gallagher $40,000 a year in permanent maintenance, in addition to her share of the proceeds of the house, stock in her husband’s company, 65 percent of the stock held in a profit-sharing plan, and part of his pension.
What is bizarre about this is that the husband isn’t entitled to anything from the wife for his 39 years of contribution. Of course, she has nothing to give. What would it have cost her to hire a husband to earn $250k a year, pay for a home, pay for groceries, vacations, etc.?
Anyhow. Better if all of this is arranged ahead of time instead of fighting it out in court.