I would suggest that you file a lawsuit against him, sooner rather than later, so that you can obtain a court order for support and, if needed, that he help with debts.
The particular lawsuit is a personal decision that you need to make, but an attorney can help you understand the options so you can make an informed decision.
Some options are Separate Maintenance, which does not affect the marital relationship but allows for the payment of support, custody, visitation, possession of property, etc.
There are also two different types of divorce - an absolute divorce (which is what most people think of when they think 'divorce') or a limited divorce (sometimes called a 'divorce from bed and board,' and is similar to what many states would refer to as a 'legal separation'.).
This response is for information purposes only, it does not create any attorney-client relationship. Responses to questions posted on this Forum are of a general nature only. Because it is not possible to have all of the facts of your issue addressed in this forum, you should consult with an attorney to review the unique circumstances specific to your situation. www.TheSchollLawFirm.com
I agree with Mr. Scholl. Your best option is to hire a private family law attorney like him to help you. If you cannot afford to do that, you have a couple of other options. You can contact Central Arkansas Legal Services, which will help low-income people in divorce/custody/child support situations (although they are very overbooked, so it will take a while to get you through the process); or if you are not looking to file for divorce at this time, you can contact the Pulaski County Office of Child Support Enforcement and they will file a child support lawsuit on your behalf against your husband. That way, their lawyers are handling your case and they simply take a small percentage of the child support paid as a processing fee (and if they have attorney fees, the courts make the party paying the child support pay those fees -- not you). Again, they have a lot of cases, so if you can hire a private family law attorney, that's the fastest and easiest way to get the help you need.
No attorney-client relationship is established with this answer. It is not to be considered legal advice, but is merely given to point you in the right direction and give you a general answer as to the law regarding the question you have asked.
Contact your local Office of child support enforcement to start a child support case, keep records of any correspondence, and you may want to talk to a local attorney to get full custody and visitation only at your discretion.
Every legal matter is fact specific, and there are often nuances in every case. This is intended for comment only, and does not create an attorney client relationship.
Divorce Alternatives to divorce Legal separation and divorce Dividing debts in a divorce Child support Alimony Domestic violence and divorce Divorce and bankruptcy Child custody Bankruptcy Debt Nondischargeable debt and alimony Bankruptcy and debt Divorce and family Child support order Child support and custody Child support enforcement Family law Fees Court orders
Sign up to receive a 10-part series of useful information and legal advice about the divorce process.