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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Annie’s Mailbox

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar

Dear Annie: My husband has been stalling our divorce for two years, trying to keep me broke. We have two children, the oldest in college. Their father and his parents badmouth me to them and tell them inappropriate reasons about why I left the marriage, none of which are true. Fortunately, my children know this. But I never thought my husband would involve his children in this manner. I never speak ill of him to the kids.

I was hoping we would come out of this on good terms and be able to co-parent. But my husband blames me for everything. He was raised in a home where he was indulged and never had to take responsibility for his actions. He has not been honest with his parents, which might explain why they are upset with me. But they have also treated the children poorly since the separation.

My husband brings in nearly five times my salary, but he pays a minimal amount of child support. Much of our money is being spent on lawyers because he insists on fighting over everything. His need to hurt me is only hurting the children.

There are no rules at Dad’s house, because he wants the kids to be able to do things with him that they can’t do with me. He uses money to gain favor, and I believe he thinks they will live with him if he wipes me out. How do I get him to put his children ahead of his hate and greed? – Fighting for My Kids

Dear Fighting: It is truly sad so many parents are willing to hurt the children in order to punish the spouses. You cannot force your husband to be more grown up, so protect yourself. Document every instance of manipulation or parental alienation by him or his parents, and give a copy to your lawyer. It may help to get counseling for your children (and for you) to weather the storm.

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