Do I have to retain a lawyer in order to get a legal separation from my husband or can I do this myself at our local courts. We have been married 16 years and have 3 girls,14 and 12yr old twins. There has been verbal and some physical abuse on his part towards the girls and they do not want to stay with him. I do know, however that he has the right to see them. What are our legal rights and where do I start.