After 38 years of marriage, my father wants to divorce my mother. They separated (but not legally) in 1982. At that time they made a few verbal financial "deals" concerning who would keep the house, who would get monies from sale of jointly owned business, etc. Years went on, my brother and I lived exclusively with mom, but saw dad regularly. Throughout our middle and high school years, Mom supported us financially almost exclusively as she had good job income at that time. Later, Dad did agree to pay for one kid's college tuition/dorm/support if Mom agreed to pay for the other, but no other child support was ever given to Mom from Dad over the approx. 8-10 years brother and I lived with mom until we each left for college at age 18. Also, no alimony was paid to Mom from Dad.
Fast forward to 2007: Dad now wants a divorce (presumably to marry another woman) but does not agree he owes Mom any money since he made the "deals" with her back in 1982. Mom is now 63, has heart condition and emphysema, has used up all 401k and other savings, and lives solely on Social Security. She is also an alcoholic. She hasn't held a job in approx. 6 years, mainly due to the alcoholism and failing health. My brother and I help her out financially per our ability. Mom's assets are: house (mortgaged) worth approx $150K, and car worth approx $3K. Dad's assets: house (owned outright, no mortgage) worth approx $400K, plus additional assets totally at least $100-$300K (he is very private about his finances.) Dad is 69, semi-retired, does odd jobs for cash but does not report income to IRS.
Question: What can my mother realistically expect in a divorce settlement? Because of the big discrepancies between their assets, plus the long length of the marriage and the fact that Dad has given little child or spousal support throughout the marriage, can she expect to get a portion of his net worth/assets and if so, how much? Also, if she cannot afford legal council, can he be made to pay that as well? (Sorry about long length!)