What can I expect in the way of a settlement in an equitable distribution state? SAHM mom, I've done many corporate moves, for H career 35 Year + marriage, 68 years old.
Equitable really boils down to: what do you have, what is it worth and whose going to get it. Equitable in my case was NOT equal for HIM. We were in a common law long term 23.5 year relationship that functioned like a marriage. We had a house, kids and a business in his name that was started while we were together.
He made a phenomenal amount more than I did being a SAHM for years. The mediation judge had our attorneys put down the assets on a list. At the end, in my case since he kept his business the value of that went in his column. Now they had to put things in my column until it equaled the dollar amount his did. His side added up roughly to $500,000 give or take.
I got the paid off house, and that was valued at the time at $270,000. Good for me since it's valued now at close to $500,000. He then had to pay me a settlement of $225,000, and a ton of other things related to our semi adult kids. In the end I got the lions share of everything.
In retrospect I should have gone for more, but we were in the 9th hour of mediation and had 15 minutes left to settle or pay for trial prep.
Get a good attorney, get what your state says you are entitled to. That isn't necessarily a 50/50 split. It could be a 60/40 or 80/20 etc. Both parties should walk away with similar lifestyles to what they had prior. The goal is for the lesser earning person to still have a sustainable life.
This is NOT the time to be sentimental or emotional. You aren't doing yourself any favors if you don't put yourself FIRST in this situation. You can't change your mind later. He may or may not be nice ongoing, and once the ink is dry you need to make sure you are protected and provided for. It's not about emotion now, it's purely a financial transaction, and you need to frame it in your head that if you decide emotionally then you may well hurt yourself in the long run by not taking every opportunity you can to make sure you receive every penny you're entitled to.
Don't be cruel, but don't hold back either. Get absolutely EVERYTHING in writing, and spare no detail in how it's drafted for dates, consequences and enforcement. One small detail missed can make for misery later. I wish you the best of luck, as this isn't where anyone wants to be later in life.
Chose your path wisely and without emotion. It will make the hard decisions easier to make if you treat it like a business transaction and don't put emotion in your decisions. Emotion makes us vulnerable to not taking care of ourselves.