Today, 06:48 AM
I am so sorry that you are going through this! It sounds like you have a ton of emotional and practical issues to deal with. I can't speak from personal experience, but here's what I have seen work for others:
1. Retain a lawyer ASAP.
2. Get your documentation in order. Credit card statements, bank account information, safety deposit box info, vehicle and house titles. Loan documents. Kids' social security numbers, birth certificates. Tax returns. Paycheck stubs. Keep the originals, or if originals are not available, keep copies in a safe place.
3. If you possibly can, separate out some money and create a bank account that has your name- and only your name- on it. (Discuss the legality of this with your lawyer.) Hopefully alimony and child support will not be a problem, but a separate account is a good way to hedge your bets.
4. Do not leave your house or your children, even temporarily- for example, leaving husband with kids while you stay at a hotel for a week. Possession is 9/10ths of the law, right?
5. Document everything that is said or done concerning children and finances. If there is any abuse, document this with dates, times, paperwork, and/or photographs. If he takes the kids on a trip without asking you, document.
6. Don't fight, if you can help it. Divorce can be horrible but it will be better for everyone- especially the kids- if you can stay civil with your ex while you go through the divorce process. It's better to be cold and...