First of all, you are not alone in your situation. Many women are facing the same crisis - they are stay at home mothers and their husbands support them and their children 100%, but at the same time that husband is also abusive - verbally or physically or both. So the fact that you are scared to leave because you do not know how you will make ends meet is normal! And it sounds like on top of that you are dealing with cultural differences. It is no wonder you feel overwhelmed.
However, the Fulton County family law court system has mechanisms in place to protect you and your child. You would first need to consult with a family law attorney about the specifics of your situation. Many attorneys offer free initial consultations.
Once you and your attorney file for divorce, you can request a temporary hearing. In that temporary hearing, the court will put rules in place for how the bills are paid and you and your child are provided for until the divorce is final. You can ask the court to remove him from the home if he is a danger to you and your child. It is not uncommon for the Judge at the temporary hearing to order him to leave the home while at the same time requiring him to continue to support you and your child.
The bottom line is that you do have options and you are not powerless. You need to talk to an attorney about the specifics of your situation as soon as possible.
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First thing: You are not alone. You will find that your situation is not uncommon, and that there is a lot of support out there for single Moms coming out of a relationship like this. But I am a lawyer, not a therapist, so: Legally, your husband will have a responsibility to support the child, and may have an alimony obligation, and even legal fee obligation to you.
What you need is to get your support structure in place. You need to hire an attorney. I think you should also find a divorcing parents group to help you work through the issues that will come up, and help you deal with your 8 year old on this.
You will make it through this.
It is fortunate you live in Atlanta, assuming you live in Fulton County or Dekalb County. Both counties have excellent pro bono family law services. I've provided a link to get you started. Based upon the information you provided, you should qualify for a free attorney.
Also, if you are a stay at home mom, it is likely you will qualify for significant child support, that will assist you. Also, if there are assets remaining, you may be able to retaine those in the divorce proceedings.
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