Re: He says he wants divorce, I don't think he does and I sure don't
You may be able to get a free consultation from attorneys. You can shop around.... you don't HAVE to go with the first one you talk to.
Can you get online to find financial information? Is your name on some of the bills, credit cards, etc? If you filed joint income taxes then you are on that account and can request those documents from the IRS. If your name is on anything you can start getting on the phone and getting whatever info possible. IF he pays bills online you may be able to guess his passwords to those accounts... if your name is on them, you have the right to see them.
If your name is on credit cards....attorneys will take that! Nothing to feel bad about there, because all the credit will be split during the divorce anyway.
You can do this. You can also research online about Montana's divorce/custody laws..... do some homework. You will feel less anxious if you educate yourself!
My ex also walked out on us (myself, 5 kids...one a teen mom so a grandbaby too) and would do nothing about divorce. I also moved far away, which is actually easier than always being in the same town. A little distance helped me TONS. I also had to divorce with no help/input/anything from him. My point is... it is definitely doable.
It gets better. And it takes T I M E. One step at a time is right. You have a good support system.
When you go back to get your stuff, be on the lookout for important papers...insurance policies, bills, credit card receipts, tax papers, checking account info, savings account info, pay stubs, deeds, titles, etc.... the more stuff you can find the less work you have to do later trying to get info from him. Remember.... even if you are not "taking him to the cleaners", the marital assets and debts are yours also. You just need the info to know what you are looking at financially.
They say "marriage is about love....divorce is all business". Put on your big girl panties, and get down to business. Show your daughter how to be a strong woman. There is no reason to denigrate your stbx to your daughter, just show her that mom knows how to take care of business. She will take life cues from you, her closest female role model. Be the role model that you want her to see. Someone who is strong and independent and not a clueless doormat. (Not saying you are that, just be careful of the image you project to your daughter). Be strong for her. You can do this.