Counseling is definitely a good idea. The kids are going to need the coping skills.
One other thing that you need to be prepared for is that unless you have a whole lot of proof of the verbal abuse (and the judge isn't going to go by what you "overheard" as you are not a nuetral witness at all), you aren't going to be able to end the visits or even get supervised visits with their dad.
So sorry to hear all of this. Sounds like you are on the right path for your kids and you, but it will be rough for awhile. I agree with PP that proof is going to be key - courts generally want to keep both parents in the lives of kids to the extent possible. A guardian may be able to help, though. But to the extent you can have non-child witnesses to the behavior, it will help.
Mom to two terrific kiddos, affirming every day that the Universe is unfolding as it should and all is well...
What a rough time - you've got the wheels in action - another thing I wanted to suggest is to ask your lawyer if in your state it's okay to record phone conversations so a court can hear the garbage your ex says to the kids. And record every time!
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