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Custody Rights?

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  • Custody Rights?

    I am a mom of 2, a boy (13) and a girl (10). I have been divorced for 2 years and my ex has custody of my children. During the divorce I did not contest custody because I had no home, no job, nothing. It was in the best interest of my children that they stay with their father. Now after 2 years, I have a state job, I own my own car, and I'm buying a 4 bedroom 3 bathroom home. My situation has changed a lot. Well, my ex bought a house in NC in June. My first question is:
    CAN HE MOVE MY CHILDREN out of state without court approval? I DO have reasonable visitation rights and he now lives nearly 3 hours away.

    Onto the second matter. Because of his moving, I am trying to get custody of the children. The earliest court date we can get is for the end of September. However, my ex asked me if I could "keep" the children over the summer while he moved to NC. Of course I kept them! Both children have been living with me since the first of May while their father moved out of state. Now it is time for school to begin in my county and I have a few more questions:
    BECAUSE THE CHILDREN HAVE BEEN living with me for over 3 months, do I need to put them in school here? When I go to court for custody, can I get charged with their truancy? In NC the school won't start until the end of the month, so they would miss 3 weeks here.
    ALSO BECAUSE THE CHILDREN have lived with me for 3 months, can my ex be charged with abandonment because he moved out of state? If he has left them in my care for this long, can he legally contest my wanting custody? I just really need to know what my rights are so I can take care of my children.

    Any help of ideas for where to turn would be appreciated. I have a lawyer but he can't see me until the end of the month, so I need to know what needs to be done with my children now. By the way, my son does NOT want to move to NC, but my daughter does. Thanks so much!
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