The STJ considers that the domestic work by the woman was considered to be beneficial for the partner who did not participate in the house work.
The woman asked for at least €240,000, but in the first instance, the Barcelos Court found that there was no place for paying any amount for the woman's domestic work.
“As the work spent in the home is not legally required in the context of the de facto union, its provision as a contribution to the common economy is configured as a spontaneous fulfilment of a natural obligation”, said that court.
The woman then appealed to Relação, which proved her right, setting the compensation at €60,782.
The STJ states that, in situations of evident imbalance, “it is not possible to consider that the provision of domestic work and the care, monitoring and education of children correspond, respectively, to a natural obligation and the fulfilment of a duty”.
“The demand for equality has been inherent to the idea of ??justice for a long time, so it is not possible to consider that all or much of the housework in a house, where a married couple lives of the members of the de facto union, corresponds to the fulfilment of a natural obligation, founded on a duty of justice ", describes the judgment.
"On the contrary, this duty calls for a division of tasks that is as egalitarian as possible, without prejudice to the possibility that the members of that relationship freely agree that one of them does not contribute to the provision of domestic work".
The STJ stresses that "domestic work, although it remains strangely invisible to many, obviously has an economic value and translates into enrichment while saving expenses".
In this case, it has been proven that over the nearly 30 years that the man and woman lived together, she was the one who took care of the house and prepared the partner's meals.
For this reason, the STJ says that the option of weighing this reality in the accounting of the women's contributions in the acquisition of the property belonging to the partner is correct.
For the STJ, the work spent on the education and monitoring of children is also accountable, provided that it is performed exclusively or essentially by one of the couple's members.
In order to determine the value of domestic work, the court adopted the national minimum wage as a criterion, multiplied by 12 months, during the years of living together.
In total, he removed one third, considering the need to allocate part of this amount to the woman's expenses.