Dividing debt

Actually, my subject line may be oversimplified. After my STBX left me and the kids back in October, he refused to contribute anything to the mortgage for 6 months, after which I was unable to continue paying on my own – thus the house is up for short sale or foreclosure. He also failed to pay any child support for 4 months, then began paying a self-calculated amount (I have primary custody). He has not payed anything toward the bills for our son’s treatment for emotional issues related to the separation. Finally, he kept me in the dark about the terms of an installment plan that the IRS arranged for us to pay a significant tax debt for last year, on account of withdrawing from his IRA to make the down payment for the aforementioned house that we purchased <4 months before he left. It turns out that he has payed nothing toward that tax obligation–and says that he cannot afford to. I will have to start making those myself as well, or suffer the consequences.

Despite having paid next to nothing for all these months, his child support checks are now bouncing. I have made thousands of dollars in payments over the past 10 months for debts that should have been shared. I find it highly unlikely that he will sign a separation agreement that attempts to right this imbalance – why should he when there’s nothing to obligate him and he’s been scot free so far?! However, I understand that filing a claim for equitable distribution is guaranteed to cost me more than I stand to gain, especially since he obviously has no money. It’s taken me this long to recognize that he’s been sitting pretty, waiting for me to step up and take responsibility for everything. Do I have any (affordable) recourse? Is it true that equitable distribution would be cost-prohibitive under the circumstances? Any suggestions?

[Although I do earn more than him, he makes more than enough for a reasonable person to live on…]

Equitable Distribution is the route you need to take, you will also need to file a claim for child support to ensure you are paid, and to have recourse if you are not. The action is not always cost prohibitive, and you can find lawyers who accept payment plans as you move through the process.