My retirement assets from work are meager (approx 20K). The plan is that that money will be spent as a downpayment on a condo that will be my new residence, so that will be split in our division of assets.
---> I hope you have an attorney or if this is what your attorney is telling you, that you get a new one.
---> BOTH yours and his pensions will be subject to 'equitable distribution'...he will get half of yours, you will get half of his. Example...Spouse A has $50k, Spouse B has $75k...total is $125k /2 = $62,500. Spouse A would receive would receive $12,500 from Spouse B. Mind you...we are ONLY talking about 'pensions'.
He has said that his traditional pension cannot be 'cashed out' to be split.
---> No, he obviously doesn't understand the process, but that is no surprise. A QDRO (qualified domestic relations order) doesn't 'cash out' a pension, it just splits it. And said split is done WITHOUT incurring an penalties; unless the received doesn't roll it over.
I worked throughout the marriage, until I was disabled by a WC accident almost 8 years ago, 10 years into the marriage.
---> IMHO, when both spouses have been gainfully employed to their potential (as if they were single) during the marriage, NEITHER is entitled to receive spousal support simply because one spouse earns more than the other because we are all responsible for our career choices. As a example...I make $20/hour as a bookkeeper and Jack makes $36/hour as a programmer.
---> On the other hand, if one spouse doesn't work or takes a lessor career path in support of the other spouse or children, then yes, they qualify for spousal support to the extend of their own responsibility. As an example, before Dick and Jane had children, both both worked full-time with good professions. After their first child was born, Jane took 6 months off and then took a lesser paying job working nights until their child started school full-time and then she went back to work at her old profession full-time; six months later, Dick and Jane divorce. Obviously, Jane isn't earning as much as she would have had she NOT taken 5 years off, but it was ALSO her choice. At best...she should receive spousal support for 27 months (5 years/2 - 6 months/2). The amount would be half of the difference between what she would have earned had she stayed employed and what she is currently earning ($15-12/2*2080/12=$260).
---> Obviously, that formula isn't going to work as well when someone has been out of the workforce for 20+ years or they need to be completely retrained in a new profession, but the principal of being 50% responsible is still the same.
---> In a case like yours, it can create a whole new set of problems. To start with, it's not your husband's 'fault' that you are disabled, and no doubt he has had to pick up the slack. But given that it has been 8 years since your accident, any settlement that you received to compensate for the long-term you has long been spent and/or invested, so he has benefited. What I would suggest is that any monies that were invested...stock, pensions, CDs, real property, tangible property...you take the value, divide it by your lifetime from the accident, less half of the years from your accident until now. So if you were say 30 when you had your accident, your lifetime would be approximately 50 years less half of the 8 years for 46 years. If you took $300,000 and bought a house; $300,000 / 50 x 46 means you should received $276,000 from the home; along with you half of the remaining equity. Money ya'll spent on 'stuff'...'stuff' that would NOT have 'normally' spent if not for the settlement, you should be entitled to recover 50%.
If you air your dirty linen in public, expect people to comment on the skid marks!