Thank you for considering my case. Though the devil of this case is in the details, I will do my very best to keep it as brief as possible without omitting important information.
A good friend of mine, Suzi, has been separated from her husband of 10 years or about 6 months, and she is on the verge of legally pursuing divorce. The reason I am asking you for advice lies in the confounding details surrounding this case. She has given me permission to share details regarding her situation with you:
The health of Suzi's children is her motive for divorce. Suzi has two children, ages 4 and 7, both with Manu. Because Manu has severely emotionally abused Suzi for most of their relationship and continues to do so now, Suzi fears being around him, causing her parenting to suffer when she is in his vicinity.
Recognizing that her resulting deterioration in mental and physical health would more than likely begin to affect her children, the temporary solution was for Suzi to move in with me, as she had no money at the time of the separation, and her husband has cut her off financially. She is with the kids at their former family home for 3-4 days out of the week, and if she's lucky, she can get Manu to give her space to be a good mother from time to time.
Knowing that the children require stability, she does not want to bring them elsewhere until that "elsewhere" is somewhere permanent, though the kids express increasing difficulty coping with the current situation. That being said, her husband threatens a court order even if, in the future, she has a place of her own to bring them to.
Having no money to retain an attorney, she doesn't know what her plan of action should be. To an outside observer, it seems like sole custody should fall to her husband, given his ability to support the children - though this is NOT a reflection on Suzi's capability as a breadwinner, as Suzi was making nearly 6 figures before she quit her work to raise the kids at her husband's request.
Suzi's goal is not sole custody, but a shared custody for the sake of the children. She does not seek revenge, or even to be compensated for her pain and suffering - she merely wants to raise her children in safety and security, which means joint custody. Both of them work better as parents on their own, I've personally seen the difference it makes.
Thank you for your time,