Thanks, Redlegg, for your prompt & thoughtful reply. Let me ask a few things about what you said:
"You say the marital assets are to be shared, and that makes sense."
I was talking about how my stbx is unwilling to share what we currently have togehter. We are married -- no papers filed yet. We own a house together, but he won't pay the bills or even tell me when a bill is past due. Yes, this messes up his credit rating, but it leaves me w/o utilities during a snowstorm, which is worse. When something like this happens, I leave a message w/ one of his co-workers, "Please tell my hubby I need a copy of the property tax bill + $5000 for back property taxes." Only when I humiliate him do I get any money for our joint expenses! That's why I don't want alimony, even though I'm clearly entitled to it under NY law. I'd always be taking him back to court to get the $$$. So I'd prefer to get more assets & skip the alimony.
"it sounds like he put say 75% of the existing assets in whatever they are now, and you put 25%, now if you were to split it 50-50 (equally) the offset is already there for what has happened, you want to do it 60/40 for what is going to happen, and to be honest that doesn't sound fair."
I see what you mean, but this is a 30-year marriage, not a business. There were times when I put in all the income, times when we both worked & earned the same. I gave up my career b/c he wanted to move to a place w/ VERY few jobs. Also, we agreed that I would not work outside the home while our 4 chldren were young, so obviously we chose not to tot up each spouse's financial contribution to our marriage. Seems to me it's unfair now to look at how much money each spouse put in -- in any case, that's not how NY law looks at it.
"The spousal support seems seperate, and based on a need that exists"
Couldn't the need be met by giving me more assets? Then we part ways & each earn what we can (about $200K for him, about $35K for me.) But at my age I can't possibly earn enough for retirement.
"you said you have updated your credentials and you put him through school. Was he the reason you were able to update them and if so, that seems to be along the same lines of putting him through school."
I finished my master's a few months after we married. My employer paid for my degree. Then I put hubby through 4 years of grad school -- his parents & mine both helped us some. Stbx didn't pay for me to upgrade my credentials. that was a matter of filling out some paperwork, passing a security check, etc.
"If your kids are not the beneficiary, then that sounds like it should be his choice who he selects."
I thought a paid-up policy was part of our marital property. I don't want to profit from his demise -- but I sure don't want the OW to get the money!! So can I ask for a clause in the settlement saying that our 4 kids will be beneficiaries?
So when I ask what's fair, I'm asking, "If I choose to forego spousal support after a 30-year marriage, what division of our assets would be appropriate?"