I assume that the children are now 18 or over
I must suggest that you do not cross petition. Courts do
not like it as it is a waste of their time and is unnecessary in this day and
age. You could well be criticised by the judge.
Unfortunately, your husband got in first . You were
always at liberty to find him and issue a petition against him.
Generally, the respondent (you at present) pays the cost
of the actual divorce itself but you could agree not to cross petition of
defend it (no point after seperation for so long) if he doesn't ask the court
for costs against you.
Regarding the division of the marital assets. It doesn't
matter whether he divorces you or you divorce him or what the reason is. The
financial split is exactly the same.
It also doesn't matter that you are not ready to sell the
house because, unless you can pay him off the house must be sold because he is
entitled to something from it.
You ere always entitled to pursue him for child and spouse
maintenance. CSA would have found him if he was working
Therein lies the problem deciding exactly what he is
entitled to. You had the benefit of living in the property in the last 10
years, would you have no doubt you did towards capital repayment, without him.
You would be responsible for its bills.
You need to revisit the situation 10 years ago.
What does he earn and what do you earn?
What does he want?