My name is Avigdor Litt and I am a 37 year old single father living in New Jersey. I am creating this campaign now, as the third year of an agonizing legal battle for my son’s life continues to wage on. I have never before asked the public for donations, and waited during these last few years to do so, in the hopes that before my financial resources run out, my son’s future would be safe and secure with the help of the NJ family court system. Unfortunately, as I type this, my son’s future is still very much in jeopardy, as is my parental role in his life. I no longer have the funds to advocate for myself and my son and I am extremely worried that he will lose the only life he has ever known, along with his relationship with me, his father who loves him more than life itself. If you can take a few minutes to read below and make a donation in any amount in order to save my son, I would be so grateful.
On March 20 2010, my life changed forever when I became the father of a very special little boy named Zach.
Nicknamed Zachy, he lit up my world with his sparkling sky blue eyes and megawatt toothy smile. My days and nights revolved around Zachy; caring for him and playing with him, taking him on trips and watching his excitement as he experienced the world around him in new and exciting ways over and over again. I forgot what life was like before him, because once he arrived, Zachy became my life.
Unfortunately, soon after Zach was born, his mother and I separated and divorced. While divorcing was very difficult emotionally, I was grateful that unlike others I knew, I was able to stay out of the family court system. During the first 5 years of Zach's life, his mother and I arranged our parenting time amicably and I was able to see Zach almost daily and for many holidays. Zach and I were strongly bonded and he enjoyed loving relationships not only with me, but with my family members, most of whom live locally to Zach, his mother and I.
Additionally, while after our divorce, Zach’s mother no longer wished to live as an observant Jew, or be a part of the Jewish community, I continued to raise Zach in the faith he had been born into. Zach attended Hebrew school and enjoyed celebrating Shabbat and Jewish holidays with me and my family members. Zach loved to learn the meaning behind our traditions, and would listen attentively as I would answer his questions. When he returned to my home after visiting with his mother, he would almost reflexively put on his yarmulke and ask me excitedly about when Shabbat would start, listening attentively during the Kiddush and enjoying the taste of his challah and other traditional Shabbat dishes. He was so happy to participate in all of our religious customs with me, and his presence brought so much love and happiness to me, his grandparents, aunts and uncles.
When Everything Fell Apart
In 2016, everything changed. Zach's mother remarried, and she and her new husband informed me that they would be moving, with Zach, to a remote rural community in Texas, over 1600 miles from Zach’s homes in central New Jersey. Zach would no longer attend Hebrew school, or even a public school with at least a mediocre academic reputation and a majority graduation rate. Instead, Zach would become an ethnic minority in a school with a 70 percent drop out rate. Zach would not be celebrating Shabbat or Jewish holidays anymore. He would live far away from both sets of his loving grandparents whom he saw daily (maternal) and weekly (paternal). Zach would no longer see me almost daily, weekly, or even monthly, but ‘some times in the summer’ as I was told by his mother. Even worse, Zach was told that his mother's husband was his 'new father', and repeated it to me, confused and hurt as to why I would no longer be his father. With no court order in place to protect my child from the chaos around him (as none had previously been needed), I was unable to shield him from what he was being told at home and was not even allowed to see or speak to Zach for the next 6 weeks, following his mother’s ‘announcement’. Reeling from the shock of our worlds crashing down so suddenly, I did what any loving father in my position would do. I hired a family law attorney to advocate for us, and asked the family court system in New Jersey to intervene on Zach’s behalf and to protect my son from losing his education, his family, his community, his religion; essentially his entire world.
During these last few years, in addition to fighting for my son to remain in the tristate area, I asked the family court judge to grant me the right to parenting time with my son, rights that most parents probably never have to think about. The right to see him on a consistent basis, and to have a holiday schedule with him, as I had before. Even something as simple as the right to hear his sweet voice on the phone on days when he wasn’t with me, was earned during a court hearing, after expending tremendous financial resources.
After a two year court battle, with countless motions filed and hearings scheduled, finally resulting in a relocation trial involving lawyers and forensic psychologists; witnesses, and expert testimonials, my son’s future remains in limbo. Not only did this custody battle take a massive emotional toll on both myself and Zach, it completely drained my finances and destroyed my credit, placing me under the strain of seemingly insurmountable debt. And the worst part of it all is: it's not over.
What We Are Facing Today:
While I desire to continue to fight for my son’s life, and against him moving over 1600 miles away from me and the only life he has ever known, I can no longer afford to financially support this legal battle. After 2 years and more than 40,000 dollars spent in legal fees, I can no longer continue to fight for Zach’s life without your help.
I have attached a letter provided to me by an esteemed community leader who has known my son since birth and has been witness to my son’s difficult plight for the last few years. Feeling gravely concerned for Zachy’s well-being, he wrote a letter in support of our cause to defend Zach’s right to remain close to his father, his loving family, his school, and his religious traditions.
I am asking you, my friends and my community members, those who are able to experience the joy of hugging and kissing their children every day, and those who know what it’s like to lose that invaluable privilege, to please donate to our cause. Any amount helps. I ask you not to donate for me, but to do so for the same reason I have given everything I have to this cause so far:
Please donate For The Love Of Zachy.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story and offer your support.
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