Yeah, I agree with Christine and Jen that you should file for child support right away. I also agree with Christine that when you are overwhelmed, sometimes you need to step back, take a deep breath, and kind of let the pieces fall down into place before moving ahead. I wouldn't wait long though.
I can really relate to your issue. I feel like separation is in the near future for my husband and I , and sometimes I wonder how he is going to be in terms of support and caring for our son, etc. But the thing is, it is their responsibility as much as it is ours. We tend to take on so much if not ALL of the responsibility, but that isn't right. This may sound corny but I once saw an episode of Judge Judy where the young woman had never sued for child support from her estranged BF, but now was suing him for payment of a loan or something. Judge Judy was hard on her, asking why she never demanded child support from the father? The young woman said something like, up until recently she didn't need the help, and he didn't have any money anyway much of the time. Judge freaked out on her saying that even if she didn't need it right at that moment, it was money for her children and for their future that they were entitled to, whether she thought so or not. For some reason, that always stayed with me.
Like you, I worry that I will piss off my soon to be ex if and when I take him to court over child support, or threaten to. My concern is that if I do not take a hard stance, he may be more willing to give me money on his own accord, or help me out more with child care, etc. But if I make him angry he may make things difficult. Just because a man is court-ordered to pay, it doesn't always pan out that way. The problem is that he, and so many men, do not see it as their responsibility, no matter how unfair it is to us women. And believe me I would be very fair with him.
The other week we were talking about such matters, like what would happen if we separated, and I asked him how much money he thought would be fair to give us for support. I could tell he didn't want to give anything. But the amount he said was about half of what I had in mind, and my # would basically cover our food. My # was also quite alot less than I came up with after looking at an online estimated child support calculator (I found it on the state website.) He makes way more than I do and my rent would be so much more than his... so wrong! When we talked more, his reasoning was that he "had to start saving for his future." Mind you, he is much younger than I am and I have zilch in retirement, let alone college fund for our son. He also added that I have my family here to support me but he is not from this country, so therefore, he figures that's fair.
Well, needless to say, his attitude made me angry and now I'm definitely planning on solidifying a custody and child support agreement when we separate officially. My heart goes out to you, and I wish you luck!