Thank you for contacting us at JA for guidance.
You will need to look to the original divorce decree to find out exactly what each of you are responsible for. If your ex-wife has violated the decree in some way, you will need to file a motion for contempt in the court where your divorce and decree were entered. If your ex-wife has primary custody, she can claim the children on her tax return. If you have both moved, you may have the judgment registered where you live and file your motion in your local court.
It also appears that you are wanting to file a motion to modify the custody of your children. The court will consider many factors, amounting to the best interests of the children in determining who should have primary physical custody. If the children are in their teens, their desire to live with one parent over another does carry weight with the court, but is not the deciding factor.
If you need to locate an attorney in your area, a good place to begin is www.lawyer.com. You will want to speak to a family law or divorce attorney and weigh your options based on his or her expertise with your local courts.
All the best to you in the coming new year!
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You cannot claim them as dependents on your tax return if you do not have primary physical custody. I am sorry. Since your ex-wife appears to have violated the divorce decree by not refinancing the home, you may file a motion to hold her in contempt of the decree as I mentioned above. If granted, you may obtain any money damages you have incurred. Your attorney may argue that, in the alternative, since your ex-wife has not abided by the decree, you should receive any equity that has accrued in the home. This is a weaker argument than money damages however.
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