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Your estranged husband does not need to respond or sign anything in order for you to proceed. if he does not respond or defend the divorce petition you could have proceeded to apply for the decree nisi.
Please see below link that has information on how to apply as well as what to do next
Applying for the decree nisi progresses the divorce. Once you have applied for this, you would be able to later apply for the decree absolute.
You may also apply for financial help for yourself from him. This is referred to as spousal maintenance. The court will look on whether you are in fact in need of assistance and if he can afford to pay. You may want to also ask the court to make a division of any assets of the marriage.
Hope this helps. All the best
Perhaps the best way to go especially if there are concerns re finances is to see whether this could first be resolved via mediation. If mediation is successful you would then only file the mediation agreement in court. Mediation is a more affordable way to proceed. here is how you go about getting a mediator to help:
Please have a read through the advice given. You will see that I have said that if mediation does not work that you may go to court.