Separation and children

I have been married almost 16 years and have been in counseling for three months with my husband. I am now seeking legal separation. He is refusing to leave our home and has told me to leave as i am the one wanting to separate. We have two daughters of which I am the primary caregiver. In our discussion last night, he told me I will not take the girls with me if I leave. What are my rights? I would like to stay in our current residence with our children and for him to move out. What if I choose to leave? Can I take our daughters with me legally?

In the absence of a court order you both have equal rights to the children. You have very few options to force him out: 1. Domestic violence protective order; 2. File for child custody and child support, and ask for possession of the house in the complaint; and 3. Divorce from bed and board. Hope that helps.