What do I file?


My STBX and I have been separated 2 years. We have 2 children, and child support is ordered through CSE. He moved 4 hours away right after separation. He was a long distance truck driver, gone for 5/6 nights a week when we were together. I’ve been primary caretaker. He hasn’t seen the children since Christmas even though I’ve offered for him to have them during their school holidays and this summer. We had no assets, but do have a lot of debt, including taxes. We have no separation agreement, and do not have child cusody or visitation agreements. He lives with friends.

Our children have had major medical issues and I’ve never been able to contact STBX when I’ve had them in the hospital. I feel that I need full custody so I can make the day to day decisions for the children, with him having liberal visitation. But, I think that he has shown that he doesn’t really want to see them, and our youngest is quite affected by this.

I’m ready to file for the divorce, but I don’t know what to do. I can not pay for even a consultation, so I’d like to do this on my own. What do I need to file and how do I do this? If it’s easiest to just file for the divorce and do the custody at a later date, I guess that would work. But, I’d like to get it all done now. Thank you.


You may obtain a divorce by filing an action at the court house. If you have only debt as marital property and it is jointly titled, you will remain joint debtors after the divorce is granted. Many counties have self serve centers which contain do it yourself divorce packets that can help you complete this process.
As for custody I would suggest you contact the legal aid office in your county. It seems as though your ex’s lack of interest in the children will make this an open and shut case.