- Advice for your Everyday Life
Section: money, children, relationships, marriage 

Dear Ann Landers,
I commend you for printing the letter from "Sick of It in South Dakota," whose children lived with their father after her divorce. She said it's time to accept the idea that sometimes the kids are better off with Dad. I am a divorced father with two boys, ages 7 and 9. They live with their mother. I pay out a lot of money for child support, but I doubt that the money is being spent on the children. If it were, I wouldn't have to take them for haircuts and buy them sneakers and winter jackets. I've asked my lawyer whether there is any recourse, but was told I could not dictate where the child support money goes. I have recently remarried. My new wife is very supportive and has a great relationship with my sons. She is more of a mother to them than my ex-wife. I see my children every Wednesday and on alternate weekends. When it is time for them to go home, they cry and tell me they don't want to go. They have asked to live with me. I know they would be happier if that were possible, and they would have a more stable and secure environment, but unfortunately, the courts do not see it that way. I have attempted to get custody of my sons, but the courts seem interested only in how much money I can pay. And have you noticed that when a couple gets divorced, the kids almost always end up with the mother, leaving the father with a painful court battle and an expensive legal bill? In spite of the aggravation, I refuse to give up. I'm still fighting for my boys. Ann, please tell all the divorced dads who love their children that they must stay in their children's lives, no matter what. Their children need them. -- Been There and Done That in New York

Dear New York,
Your letter speaks more eloquently than anything I might say. Every divorced dad who has walked in your shoes is grateful to you for writing.

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"Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful."
-Ann Landers