Equitable Distribution of Assets


My husband and I have been married for nine years and recently separated. I initiated the separation because we have grown apart. We have not had intimate relations other than a peck on the cheek in over three years. He travels frequently (No travel when we married) and is 12 years older than me. We have no children, but do have 4 pets. There is a significant amount of money involved in the form of:

  1. a 4-bedroom home (valued at $175K, with $60K debt in the form of an equity line)
  2. 12 acres of land (Unencumbered, valued at $250K, purchased after we were married but the majority was paid for by a condo that he sold after the marriage)
  3. ~$200K in Exxon and other stocks (an inheritance left to him)
  4. ~$200K in life insurance policies (Whole-life, this is their cash value, half purchased after we were married.)
  5. $300K in IRA’s in his name, $7K in IRA’s in my name
  6. $350K in 401K from his earnings, $20K in 401K from my earnings
  7. He also owns 2% of his electrical engineering firm, which has no significant realized value yet.

I am only asking for the house in our settlement, with no debt attached to it and no alimony. The home is tax-valued at $175K. His annual income is ~$150K and mine is $27K. (I work for a non-profit). We never thought that we would get divorced, but I realized that having all the money in the world won’t make you happy, and I can’t live the rest of my life unhappy. My question is, am I asking too much? He does not want to involve a lawyer in the distribution of assets, and I only want to make sure I’m taken care of for a couple of years. He also stands to inherit a significant amount of money when his parents die.


You are entitled to one half of the value of the marital estate, which, even excluding your husband’s separate property (the inheritance money) is substantially more than the 175,000 in equity you would receive if you were only awarded the home with the lien extinguished.
Further, based on your incomes, you are entitled to alimony and I would recommend you seek the support you are entitled to.