I separated from my STBX almost two years ago, via a civil protection order for domestic violence. I was finally financially able to file for divorce recently and it will be final in July. After the CPO was put in place, my STBX moved out of state and there has been no contact. Even though he was given supervised visitation, he has chosen not to exercise visitation (because he has to pay for the court supervisor and he refuses to pay to see his kids). My children are 8 (not his biological child), 4, and almost 2 (she was born a month after we separated, he has never met her).
My 4 year old has a lot of behavioral issues that we are working through with counseling. He witnessed most of the abuse and was the target of some of it as well, and it's done a number on him. He never brings up his father, never asks about him, only makes comments about him when someone else directly asks him about daddy.
My 8 year old is autistic. He never met his biological father, has only known the STBX as his dad (we started dating when my son was a year old). He has had a really rough time with the separation. Since he also witnessed the abuse and was the target of some of it, he understands that Daddy hurt us and that was why he had to leave. He knows that Daddy has not come back because Daddy doesn't think what he did was wrong. But as he gets older, he desperately wants a dad, even one who was abusive. He gets really emotional at times and cries about his dad. My mother, trying to help, has tried to explain to him that some day he would have a new daddy. He has no understanding of time and wants that time to be now. He doesn't understand the concept of marriage/weddings (he's asked me several times recently what those things are), so I don't know how to explain divorce to him.
The boys don't know anything about the divorce yet because I am just not sure how to tell them what is going on. I am so out of my element here, I just don't know where to go. I would love to get into some kind of support group for myself and the kids, but there just isn't one that is meeting in our area right now, so I'm stuck. Any advice or suggestions? I am all ears.