Father prevented from seeing his child gets support payments suspended

20573037The New York Law Journal this week reported a Brooklyn appeals court decision finding that a father, who had been prevented from seeing his son by the child’s mother, should not be obligated to pay child support.


The September 2, 2015 ruling from a panel of the Appellate Division, Second Department, in Matter of Coull v. Rottman, reverses a 2014 ruling by Westchester County Family Court Judge Hal Greenwald denying Robert Coull’s petition to suspend his child support payment obligation.


To support its finding, the panel cited Matter of Thompson v. Thompson, 2010 NY Slip Op 08120 (78 AD3d 845), in which the Second Department affirmed a Westchester County Family Court ruling to suspend James Thompson’s child support obligation because the mother of his son “deliberately frustrated visitation by manipulating the child’s loyalty and orchestrating and encouraging the estrangement of father and son.”   Parents have a duty to continually support their children until they are 21 years old, the court wrote in Thompson. “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,” the court said, citing the Appellate Division, Third Department’s 2008 decision in Matter of Crouse v. Crouse, 53 AD3d 750.


Given the circumstances, the panel—composed of Justices John Leventhal, Robert Miller, Sylvia Hinds-Radix and Joseph Maltese—ultimately concluded that Coull’s requirement to pay child support should be suspended.


For the complete story, visit: http://www.newyorklawjournal.com/id=1202736637831/Father-Not-Obligated-to-Pay-Child-Support-Panel-Finds#ixzz3lMLb6WHH