Questions, Comments or Concerns??
Dear Judge Hardy:Tue, July 27, 2010 - 2:28 PM
Dear Judge Hardy,
I am standing here for the third time in a custody dispute with my son’s dad, Nick Atkins in seven years. Since we were here in December 2006, please allow me a few minutes to share with you the challenges we have faced as a family.
•Alex obtains from his dad and smokes marijuana beginning at age 14
•Alex is firmly committed to continuing the pot smoking and to finishing the IB program at Wooster High School
•Alex’s school performance and attendance drop significantly especially in junior year
•Nick continually fights child support to have it reduced or eliminated
•Nick claims Alex on tax returns despite court orders otherwise
•Nick’s continual underemployment as a server at Olive Garden
•Nick moves from two bedroom apartment to one bedroom apartment
•Nick loses vehicle due to non-payment
•Mental and emotional terrorism continues by Nick and Alex
•Lying, manipulation and general lack of honesty and integrity by both men
In spring 2007, Alex was 14 and decided that he wished to attend Wooster High School in the International Baccalaureate Program. His dad fought us against this decision and told Alex, “You don’t have the heart or the determination to make it through that program.”
My relationship with my son kept deteriorating and to determine the cause, I read many of Alex’s text messages. This was in March 2009. Some of these messages were to his dad asking “Hey can u bust out some home grown for when we get there?” I had Alex searched at school. I gave copies of the text messages to the school counselor. While in the vice-principal’s office, Alex told me that Nick provided the marijuana since he was 14. Other text messages referenced obtaining psychedelic mushrooms and how he would need to make arrangements to be at his dad’s house in order to get “baked.”
Accordingly, I filed police report # 09-9130 and included copies of the text messages. I received a follow up call about two weeks later and was the end of the investigation.
We designed a contract of rules to live by while at my home. Alex agreed and we both signed. Please see attached for a copy.
During this time, Nick requested a change in child support due to his lack of employment as he was terminated from his executive chef position at the Rainbow Lodge. I agreed to his terms in exchange for the tax deduction every year I am legally able to so. After a couple of months, Nick reports to me that he obtained a position in the management trainee program at Olive Garden in Sparks. Part of that training included working as a server for a period of time. Nick has been waiting tables since his hire 18 months ago and has yet to move into any sort of management position.
While you had approved the new child support agreement in 2009, the DA’s office was unable to execute the proposed plan. There were several additional child support hearings. Mr. Atkins sought to have child support eliminated as Alex spent more than 50% of the time as his dad’s apartment. My generosity regarding visitation was being used as a basis for Mr. Atkins argument. The child support judge ruled that Nick would continue to pay $317.00 per month, provide medical insurance, and to pay 50% of any additional medical costs.
Accordingly, I became inflexible in regards to visitation and enforced the schedule that is currently court ordered. Alex doesn’t understand and life is very stressful at home. Both Nick and Alex would badger me until I gave in to their demands. After some time, it was no longer worth the effort.
I kept getting blamed for the DA’s actions. I kept getting yelled at for not being flexible and willing to compromise. Yet, when I do and then later make a request, I am told no.
Alex attempted to obtain his driver’s license once. However, he was unable to do so as his dad’s vehicle was not insured and he refused to test in my vehicle. The permit expired in July 2009 and Alex recently renewed the permit in May 2010. He still does not have a driver’s license.
Alex’s performance in his junior year reflects attendance issues and very poor grades. He seemed to only care about getting stoned and playing video games. As Alex’s grades became worse, I withdrew my willingness to be flexible regarding visitation. Alex would become angry and very sullen. He experienced large mood swings and while at my home, he would withdraw completely into computer games, texting and would pick fights with me. His final GPA for the semester is 2.15 and he barely passed a couple of courses.
I request that drug tests be ordered for both Nick and Alex using hair samples, not urine samples. Considering my son just recently bragged about how his dad gives him marijuana, there is a very strong chance the drugs are still readily available.
Nick currently lives in a small one bedroom apartment. They share a bedroom with separate beds. Nick lost his vehicle due to non-payment and no longer has reliable transportation. Nick is unable to pay for any additional medical care, including prescriptions. Nick will be unable to pay for insurance when Alex obtains a driver’s license. Nick continues to provide marijuana and other illegal substances to Alex. Nick does not enforce any rules including daily showers and dental hygiene. Nick refuses to pay his 50% share of any medical costs or Geri Goddard’s fees. He will not meet with Geri and continually makes unreasonable requests and demands. Nick has been drinking again off and on throughout the past several years. I do not know the extent of his habit.
I live and maintain a four bedroom home. Alex would have his own room. I have reliable transportation and maintain auto and renter’s insurance. I am prepared to add Alex to my car insurance policy when he obtains his license. I currently pay for all additional medical costs, testing fees, clothing, shoes, dental care, hygiene, etc. I have a strict no drugs rule for all residents. I am employed earning $40,000 per year and am a graduate student at UNR earning my MBA degree.
My purpose in sharing all of this with you is ensure that you are fully aware of the environment Alex is currently living. Mr. Atkins had never and will not stop emotionally terrorizing me either directly or through Alex. All of the child custody hearings, child support hearings, badgering, emotional and mental abuse are driven to eliminate child support. None of this is in the best interest of Alex, only Mr. Atkins self-interests.
What am I supposed to do? Nick gives Alex pot for 2.5 years. I let Alex visit his Dad whenever he wants to not knowing about the pot. I find out and slowly pull back my generosity on visitation. Alex doesn’t understand and yells at me. I make rules for my house and Alex agrees. Alex breaks the rules anyway. “I’m a hippy dippy stoner Mom and there’s nothing you can do about it.” I refuse to cooperate with Nick in court to modify child support. I get bullied by Nick through Alex. I do what I can not to fight but to take the high road instead. I’m tired of the torture. I am tired of being mad. I am tired of fighting. Stop yelling at me for doing the right thing. I want to be left alone—in peace. I want them both out of my life. I cannot continue.
If you grant custody to Mr. Atkins, I request for termination of my parental rights. I cannot continue living under this stress. Nor can I continue to watch the destruction of my son. I wish to live my life, with or without my son, in peace without ANY interference from Nick. I’ve known Nick for 19 years now and for all these years, he has never left me alone in peace. I hope you understand how desperate I am to seek relief from this man. I implore and beg you to remove him from my life.
Thank you for listening and for your serious consideration of this situation.
Elaine M. Hirt
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Wow!!! What a loser!!!
i have a friend who is going through a long devoirce. After several years she is still fighting for child support. The father is always taking my friend to court to cut down child support. A few times he asked the judge to relieve him of child support.
All I can say is to stay strong.