Child custody/parental rights

My husband and I have been seperated for about a year and a half he asked for a visitation with the kids in 10/05 he said he would have them back to me by Christmas he never returned my kids and I have had to travel to NC to see them.
I have been told by FL lawyers where I live I can go get my kids at anytime and there is nothing he can do that we have the same custodial rights I just want to know if that is the case in NC. I know in FL it is true.
My soon to be ex is not planning on giving me back my girls ages 3 and 5.I filed divorce in FL and sent the papers but I dont know what will happen if I will be able to request custody of my kids through FL. I would like to oriented with NC law and procedure.