If the seperation agreement says this is your year for Thanksgiving, then they can stay with you; if it states this is his year you must send them to him. You state he was investigated for neglect of these same children… what was the outcome of that investigation? If there was no basis found in the allegation, then you cannot use that to keep the children from him. If the investigation is ongoing, contact the social worker for advise… any reccomendations she gives to you, get in writing. Verbal warnings will not hold up in court. I understand he lives in another state, do you have any allies there who could keep an eye on the kids while they are in your ex’s care?
The complaint, served or not, is a petition for divorce, child support, & custody. It is not legally binding until the judge rules on it. The seperation is the legally binding agreement in place until the divorce. Most people incorporate the seperation agreemtn into the divorce.
Hope this helps.