Thank you everyone for your responses, its really helpful to hear other people''s experiences, frightening though they may be.
I had my collaborative law meeting on Wednesday and it was ok. we read the agreement, signed it, then tackled the child access issues (we have a 7 yr old, 5 yr old and a 4 yr old. ) STBX lives in a small flat and they are too wee to be doing sleepovers at some crappy place, and he agrees to that so what we agreed was that he would take the elder two to school in the morning, pick the elder two up from school, collect the youngest as well on a tuesday, spend time with them and give them dinner, and have them from 9-6 on a sunday. He''s a good man and a good dad (one of the heartbreaking things about his is that he is making SO much more effort and is so much more gentle and patient and affectionate with the kids, now he doesn''t live with them. ) and part of me feels that even this isn''t enough for the kids, they need more of their dad, but its a good starting place and at least he knows and they know when they will see him on a regular basis, for the next few months. We agreed holidays as well over the summer.
we also discussed interim financial arrangements (he will continue to pay all household and school bills and give me the money i was getting before, so for us, financially, nothing changes) and we both verbally disclosed our financial assets and debts and have been given the task of providing proof as of our date of separation. This will take time, so the next meeting won''t be until after the summer.
And that, was that. The lawyers were very encouraging and supportive and telling us how well we did, though i did give his lawyer a few death glares as she and STBX cracked a few jokes to lighten the mood. Sorry, nothing funny about this situation. Not yet.
I was aware that when i went to use the loo, it probably cost me a £7 in legal fees.....