Rule #1 (colloquially speaking) of family law is: "Whomever has de facto
custody of the minor children when a divorce or legal separation commences, wins everything."
This expression is more than just a bad joke. It is the fundamental legal reality of family law. The reason is that (and, assuming that a judge is truly a neutral decision maker), each party is equal before the court, but the kids tip the scales of justice in favor of the party who is exercising custody.
So, it's really simple: either take the kids with you or don't move out -- unless you want to be on the losing end of everything moving forward.
If your spouse is committing abuse against you, you can obtain a Protection from Abuse Order (PFA) by visiting the courthouse in your county and allowing the family law clerks to assist you in filling out the necessary forms. Under the Protection From Abuse Act, abuse is defined as physical or sexual abuse; causing a person bodily injury either intentionally or recklessly; false imprisonment
; putting a person in fear of “imminent bodily injury”; and stalking. Emotional abuse, unless coupled with a credible threat of or actual physical injury, is insufficient to obtain a PFA.
If you get a PFA, then your husband will be forced to move out, and you will have satisfied Rule #1. This may seem cruel, but I'm trying to be objective here -- I'm just tellin' it like it is, not like you or I may want the law to be. Many women have used PFAs for the past decade, in PA and everywhere else in the USA, to obtain a distinct advantage in all family law proceedings which follow. It's not fair, but it's a legal reality.
If you do not get a PFA, then your options are limited. If you move out -- you lose. If you stay, you are miserable. If you move out with the kids, your husband, may go to court to try to get an order to force you to return the children to the family home. That's when things will become quite uncertain, because you will have to show why the kids should be with you outside of the home, and if you cannot show that the husband is mistreating the children, then you may find the judge ordering the children back to the family home, while you stay away -- and, once again -- you lose.
The only other option is to file for divorce, now, while you are living in the family home and then wait and see if a reconciliation is possible. If yes, then you dismiss the divorce action and move on as married. Otherwise you divorce, and ultimately the court will decide who is the preferred day-to-day caretaker for the kids.
That about covers this issue. Hope it helps you find your way to a happier place in your life.