Are women entitled to half the assets in a divorce?

The Internet is divided regarding Achraf Hakimi’s divorce

In Summary

• All the work that mothers put into a marriage is often taken for granted

Often, it is assumed that a divorce case would be reasonable to minimise emotional stress on the couple and the children, but this is usually not the case
Often, it is assumed that a divorce case would be reasonable to minimise emotional stress on the couple and the children, but this is usually not the case
Image: FILE

The Internet was in a frenzy the past week as rumours of Achraf Hakimi’s divorce went viral. According to unconfirmed sources, Hakimi’s wife and Spanish actress, Hiba Abouk, found out during the divorce proceedings that the footballer is not worth very much.

It is alleged that Abouk filed for divorce and 50/50 division of assets, only to be informed by the court that Hakimi does not own any assets and that 80 per cent of his salary goes straight into his mother’s account. While these rumours haven't been verified, many were quick to applaud Hakimi and hail him a legend as he outsmarted his wife into not paying alimony.

However, before we call the man ingenious or the woman a gold-digger, we must lay all the facts on the table. For starters, Abouk only filed for divorce after Hakimi was accused of attempting to rape a 24-year-old woman. Although the charges have yet to be verified, Hakimi has been indicted over the rape allegation and placed under judicial supervision.

Secondly, the couple has a 12-year-age difference between them as Hakimi, 24, and Abouk, 36, started dating when he was only 19 years old! Although we have seen many celebrities dating or marrying women older than them, most of us would agree that a 19-year-old involved with a woman in her thirties is perhaps taking it a little too far. However, the two did marry officially and share two sons, a three-year-old and a barely year-old son.

As most married couples will tell you, nobody really ever knows what goes on in a marriage except the two people involved. The couple might have more reasons for their separations, but with the little information available to us, how many of us will still commend Hakimi’s move to keep his assets away from his spouse?

As a wife and as a mother, I find myself conflicted over the issue. However, unlike Abouk, there is a low chance of me not knowing anything about my family’s financial well-being. All women need to be involved in the financial planning of their families, especially when they have children. A marriage is not a game of cat and mouse. It is a partnership of two equals (regardless of breadwinner) planning for their future and, among others, the financial well-being of their children.

As a mother, I would also understand the trepidation of Hakimi’s mother over her son marrying a woman 12 years his senior, but most of her discomfort should have gone out the window when the woman birthed two of her grandchildren. As a fellow woman, I hope Hakimi’s mother does not intend to cheat his former daughter-in-law and grandchildren of their rights.

My opinion of what and how much a woman deserves in a divorce changed drastically when I became a mother and more specifically a stay-at-home mother. A stay-at-home mother, or SAHM as popularly abbreviated, is undeniably the most undervalued job in the universe.

Yes, unlike popular belief, being a SAHM is a job! A job where one never clocks out, where one is never appreciated or promoted, neither is it a job that compensates accordingly. Men who disagree with this logic need to trade places with their wives for a time so they can get a first-hand account of what it's like to be a SAHM.

While Abouk is a successful actress in her own right, she was also a wife to a successful football player and made a family with him. Although that doesn’t seem like a job to many, most women would agree that what she input in the marriage over the five years is enough work to demand compensation. Hakimi needs to understand that he is also financially liable for the upbringing of his two sons.

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