Madison, do you have an attorney? An attorney could, should, answer your questions for you.
I was with stbx for 30 years. I worked for all but approx. 2 years of our marriage. His earnings are 3 times what mine are. Reason for that is because we made the decision early in our marriage to concentrate on furthering his education as his job (research and developement for computer use in his company, a large utility) seemed to have the better chance for avancement. Our funds were quite limited, not enough for both of us to further our education. He came into the marriage with a lot of credit card debbt. I was aware of this debt. We also worked on paying that off. Both of these reasons are why I returned to my job when our son was 2 months old, I was looking at the big picture.
Then 30 years later the big picture is good financially. Our son out on his own and doing well, we in are mid 50's, house paid for, debt low. He decided he wanted a different life and left 3 years ago. After 20 months I filed for divorce. We had a temp. hearing 3 weeks later, he was ordered to pay spousal support and 1000.00 toward my attorney fees. He did not think pensions would have to be shared and he found out the court and laws look differently on that. He thought he would walk with his big income and pension, keep all of that for himself, and was angry that I would get anything from the house.
Our divorce will soon be final. We will sell the house and split the profit. I will receive monthly spousal, permanent modifiable. That means should either of our incomes change, it can be taken back to court and modified, up or down. It means when he retires he can go back to court and have it canceled or lowered. If he does not, he will still owe it but no play check to be garnisheed by CSEA as it now is. It also means that I am entitled to 1/2 of the amount of his pension that was earned during our marriage. I will receive my portion of that when he retires, in addition to 1/2 of the 401K. He found out the court would not let him walk without sharing and he is mighty ticked about that. I think I will be OK because Iam not high maintenance, spend and save wisely. Stbx likes to live a high life, and once again has a credit card with high debt of 17K. We signed settlement papers agreeing to pay our own debt. I owe less than he has on his credit cark on my 2004 car purchased last year, he has more debt than I do with little to show for it other than the memories from all the trips, dinners and gifts to OW.
2 pensions, each of getting social security, house paid for, would have been a good retirement for us both. I hope his decision to leave proves to be worth it to him, for his sake. My life is peaceful and calm (other than divorce settlement related crap and that is almost finished) and I am looking forward to moving and starting over. I will always miss and love what he was but that person turned into someone with alcohol and porn abuse problems, someone I have discovered that I don't want around.
You need to know exactly what marital assets there are, including your husband's pension etc. and an attorney can help with this via the discovery process. Youhave to have a clear picture of all assets before you, or a judge, can make a final decision. Although attorneys can be expensive, a good one who will look out for your financial interests, is well worth their fee when you look at the big picture. An attorney can advise what you are entitled to and knows how to fight to get that for you. An attorney will put your fears to rest.
After 35 years together, I know how hard it is emotionally. Has been 3 years and i still struggle with it at time. I realized long ago the man I married, the person I loved, was gone, and had been gone. He had turned into a person bitter who thought the world was against him, the perfect person. In his mind, everyone was treated better than he,and he was so much more deserving, he the perfect one. He had a lot of frustrations and anger and he took it out on me. I am so glad this person is gone from my day to day life, although he wont' really be gone until this house is sold,which will be post decree, so I will still have hassle from him once the divorce is final.
Do you still have children at home? You mentioned that the house is your children's inheritance. You need to think about your survival first, the inheritance later. Your husband's decision to leave may well mean there will be no inheritance for your kids, so be it, you have to think about you first now, because no one else is doing that. Kids can be supportive etc. but they have their own lives to live and can't/or won't, always be there putting you first. You have to put you first. That ususlly a court fight and an attorney to help you fight the enemy. The enemy is how many of us have had to think of our stbx in order to get what we are entitled to.
Posters on here have been there and are supportive and offer great advice. It is our job to take that advice and discuss with our attorney and then decide which route we want to go.
Sorry so long, wanted to give you some of my history, advice and support. Hang in there, be strong and good luck to you.
"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened".