I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.
Because you're on the mortgage, if you don't pay the bills, your credit will be affected. If things like the cable and electric are in your name, your credit will be negatively affected if you stop paying (although there's no reason for you to pay for cable if you've moved out). A judge can order your wife to make the payments, but if she doesn't, you'll still have the negative consequences from the credit bureaus. She can be ordered to try to remortgage the house in her name, but a judge can't order a bank to get a loan, so if her credit is bad, it honestly might not be possible. If you wind up leaving for your mental health and your child's, you're not giving up your rights to a portion of the value of the house. You're still entitled to half the equity.
If the parties cannot agree on who gets the house, it usually goes to the spouse who can afford to pay for it. When there is a minor child involved, judges frequently give the house to the parent who gets primary custody, to avoid disrupting the child's life any more than necessary. What happens is, either of you can file a Motion for Exclusive Use and Possession of the Marital Home along with the divorce papers. Then the judge looks at who wants the house, who can afford the house, and he'll go from there. If someone files for a Temporary Custody Order at the same time, then the judge can also consider who is taking care of the child.
You need to have a process server or sheriff serve your wife with the divorce papers. That's the obligation of the party who files for divorce. If you don't have that done, she won't be notified. Once you ask the sheriff to deliver the papers, it usually only takes a few days. There is nothing in the law that prevents her from taking your son and leaving until you have a temporary custody order, so if you're concerned she'll do something like that again, you'll want to file a request for a temporary order.
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