I would like to take the least toxic way to speak into our marriage. I am in a destructive marriage with emotional, verbal, and controlling abuse. Every avenue we have taken thus far has ended in disaster: counseling, family intervention, etc. We have children. Should I confront with a list of “no longer tolerating” behavior or I’ll leave, or just leave. If it goes poorly can my spouse file for custody first and get it, or should I file first before even taking this next step? What if my spouse filed first, what would the ramifications be? Should I get legal representation first then confront my spouse, and deliver papers only if it goes poorly…how can I best protect me and my kids?
Custody can be determined in either a separation agreement (a contract between you and your spouse) or by court order (by filing a lawsuit against your spouse asking the court to grant you custody). You can read more about custody here: Child Custody
Before you separate from your spouse, there are many considerations you must think about, including financials and child custody. You can meet with and hire a lawyer either before a separation occurs or after.