You know there’s also one other thing that happens a lot when a bs decides to D his WW. The WW accepts it and declares herself free to do whatever she wants! Going out with “friends” to bars, clubs, GNO, till early mornings. Neglecting kids, house, responsibilities...Marriage is the only contract you enter into with no clear understanding of the terms.
We all started that way at one point. And you won't be able to get specific advice from here, because divorce laws can vary so much from place to place. So consult a bunch of lawyers, find one that meshes well with you, and let them advise you on how to proceed. They'll tell you when filing is appropriate. They'll tell you what paperwork is important to have. Gather it up ahead of time before it mysteriously vanishes. Especially anything relating to your ex. Just because you consult a lawyer one day does not mean you are filing the next. But gathering information about the process is critical to your preparation. You may even find there are advantages to not paying down the debt. Who knows yet?
And yes, there are many horror stories about initially friendly ex-spouses turning nasty after the divorce process starts. Think about it. At one point, you never would have expected your wife to cheat. So now, you must acknowledge that you don't actually know what to expect from her in this divorce. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst, as they say.
People can get selfish about custody, and treat the kids like possessions they don't want to share. Money issues blow up like crazy - people would rather spend every last cent fighting and give it all to lawyers than let their ex get one penny. People go into denial. Delay delay delay for years by not providing key documentation. Hide assets. Make false domestic violence claims to try to get an edge in the process. The person who wants the house might damage it to drop the value so they can afford it. Or if the house has to go on the market, they might hold up the process of getting it ready so they can live in it as long as possible. Etc.
T, you think you can handle seeing your stbxw stumbling in at 9am after being dropped off down the block by some dude?