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Given that his first ex-wife (natural mother of the children) signed her rights to claim them as dependents over to him...

Here IMHO is where he gotcha.

Under current law the custodial parent has the right to the dependency exemption unless that parent signs it over to the non-custodial parent.

If he files seperately and has the signed form from the first Ex he will be entitled to the exemptions.

Regardless of the support issues.

This change in the law IIRC was for divorces occurring after 1986.

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