BT, DT............do NOT leave. Back in 1990, I left an abusive relationship (we were never married) with my then 1 y.o. son, from CA back to my home state of IA. DS was born in CA. Within 2 months, I had been served with a paternity
petition from CA and ordered to return to the state. Once I did, I didn't have ANY resources whatsoever, so when we did get to court, I ended up signing an extremely flimsy joint custody
agreement. It was a total of ONE paragraph that stated we both had joint legal and physical custody
. That was IT.
DS's dad and I got back together because that was the only way at the time that I could survive out there. But 2 years later, I talked him into moving back here from CA. Four months later, he took off with DS back to CA without my knowledge (left while I was at work and obviously had it planned for some time). It took me 6 weeks, 3 trips to CA, 2 court appearances, and 1 emergency mediation to get DS back. Then the poor child suffered from severe separation anxiety for the next year and a half.
I'm telling you this because the same thing can happen to you, but since you're married he automatically has paternity. Research any and all resources available, including any DV shelter or agency (I was able to get a great atty. through a Sacramento agency called WEAVE...Women Escaping A Violent Environment). But DO NOT LEAVE or your legal problems will overshadow any major problem you currently have and will put your children smack in the middle of it.
JMO, but I am assuming the reason why he probably doesn't know how to take care of the kids as well as you do is because he hasn't been able to be with them nearly as much as you have. The more time he spends with them, the more he will learn. And regardless of what your relationship with him is like, that doesn't mean he doesn't love and care for the kids. It took me a while to realize that with DS and his dad. We couldn't get along but it didn't change the fact that he loved his son very much and that DS worshiped him. Thank God we finally were able to co-parent and get along for DS's sake, because when DS was 13 and spending the summer with him, he was diagnosed with liver cancer and died 4 weeks later.
I wouldn't wish that on ANY child. DS is now 20 and is still dealing with anger issues stemming from his dad's death. Whatever you do, anything you do MUST only have a focus on the children, NOT you. If you're concerned about your safety, then contact whatever agency you can obtain help from, but DO NOT leave the state until all legalities are worked out regarding custody of the children and the court says it's okay for you to leave. But if you think you can't wait that long, you have no alternative but to leave them in TX. TX has jurisdiction over them, not MA. You can still file for divorce and custody and can even do that from MA if necessary, but you would still have to leave the children in TX. Before you make ANY move, I strongly recommend you contact an atty.
I apologize for the length of this post, but like I said......BT, DT. DO NOT put your children through what my son went through. He may have only been 3-4 y.o. at the time, but he still remembers...