Custody for non religious parent

my husband, who previously agreed to every other weekend with our two children has recently decided that he wants them 3 nights a week. this is primarily because he realized how much child support would be. he has already started dwindling the amount that he pays.
my reason for not wanting the girls at his place 3 nights a week are many… he is bipolar and was taking meds and drinking nightly and developed loose lips. he told me were separating mid july as he was chasing a woman he had been chatting with online. he then joined several dating websites and met a different woman that he decided to move in with, just 2 weeks after this. he told me she had been a drug addict twice and she had a dwi just a year ago, so i was and am apprehensive about her. he shouted at the girls and spanked one of them for saying the woman had stolen him from her.
when he moved, he moved to knightdale, which is a signifigant drive from our place in west raleigh. the one time he had them on a school night, they were late for school.he is now demanding that i let them spend 3 nights a week at their house, even though they don’t really want to.
he claims he is getting legal aid and is going to use my “lifestyle” against me. since he suddenly found god, i am assuming he is referring to the fact that i am atheist. i have morals, and i believe in love, i just don’t believe in religion.
in this state, is atheism alone ever used to take a child from their home that they are familiar with? especially when the other parent is mentally unstable and living with a paramour?
as the sole caretaker of the kids for the 4 months since separation, do i have any right to tell him no to keeping the kids more? i plan on acquiring legal help in february, when i get my income tax refund. until then, i can’t afford anything. ( i was only working part time when he decided to leave)

All factors related to the two parents are considered by the judge when he is determining custody. He weighs the evidence presented and will award custody based off of what is in the best interest of the children. I do not think that you simply being an atheist, without something more, would be enough to deprive of you of custody. I cannot say whether or not a judge will grant him the three overnights per week he is seeking, but you definitely need to bring up all factors that you believe will show the judge why the children are better off in your care. I would also bring up the tardiness and his distance from school as well.