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Jones v. Jones

Supreme Court of New York, Second Department

September 18, 2013

Robert L. Jones, appellant,
v.
Deanne Lipka Jones, respondent. Index No. 8306/03

Bodnar & Milone LLP, White Plains, N.Y. (Erik Kristensen of counsel), for appellant.

Litman, Asche & Gioiella, LLP, New York, N.Y. (Richard M. Asche of counsel), for respondent.

Eve Bunting-Smith, White Plains, N.Y., attorney for the children.

RANDALL T. ENG, P.J., REINALDO E. RIVERA, L. PRISCILLA HALL, PLUMMER E. LOTT, JJ.

DECISION & ORDER

In a matrimonial action in which the parties were divorced by judgment dated December 3, 2004, the plaintiff appeals, as limited by his brief, from so much of an order of the Supreme Court, Westchester County (Colangelo, J.), dated September 12, 2012, as denied, without a hearing, that branch of his motion which was to suspend his obligation to pay child support.

ORDERED that the order is affirmed insofar as appealed from, with costs.

Generally, parents have a statutory duty to continually support their children until they reach 21 years of age (see Family Ct Act § 413[1][a]; Foster v Daigle, 25 A.D.3d 1002, 1004). " However, where the noncustodial parent establishes that his or her right of reasonable access to the child has been unjustifiably frustrated by the custodial parent, child support payments may be suspended'" (Matter of Thompson v Thompson, 78 A.D.3d 845, 846, quoting Matter of Crouse v Crouse, 53 A.D.3d 750, 751; see Ledgin v Ledgin, 36 A.D.3d 669, 670; Usack v Usack, 17 A.D.3d 736, 737-738; Doyle v Doyle, 198 A.D.2d 256; Matter of Welsh v Lawler, 144 A.D.2d 226, 228).

Here, contrary to the plaintiff's contention, the Supreme Court properly denied, without a hearing, that branch of his motion which was to suspend his obligation to pay child support. The plaintiff alleges continuing conduct on the part of the defendant which, if proven, would not "rise to the level of deliberate frustration' or active interference' with the noncustodial parent's visitation rights" (Ledgin v Ledgin, 36 A.D.3d 669, 670, quoting Weinreich v Weinreich, 184 A.D.2d 505, 506; see Matter of Rivera v Echavarria, 48 A.D.3d 578; Matter of Smith v Graves, 305 A.D.2d 419).

ENG, P.J., RIVERA, HALL and LOTT, JJ., concur.


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