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Woman wants child support after 34 years

NEW YORK, July 11 (UPI) -- A New York woman says she is suing her ex-husband for unpaid child support -- 34 years after their divorce.

Frances Ragusa, 75, and her former husband, Philip, 77, are locked in a bitter court fight over nearly $100,000 in unpaid child support, the New York Post reported Monday.

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At issue, Frances Ragusa said, is her ex-husband's alleged failure to pay a $14,393.57 child-support judgment agreed to as part of their divorce settlement in 1977 after 17 years of marriage -- a figure that has grown with interest to about $100,000.

A succession of lawyers has been kept busy on the case for the last 34 years, even though the Ragusas' three children have long since grown up.

Several months ago, Frances, of Staten Island, reportedly called her former spouse for the first time in more than 30 years to try and end the fight.

Philip, a retired carpenter who lives in a Boston suburb, hung up on her, she said.

Last month, she gave a deposition in the case being heard before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Leon Ruchelsman.

"I want justice, that's all. My family did not deserve what he and the system did to us," she said.

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Her lawyer characterized the legal battle as one of the strangest he'd seen.

"There's no doubt that this is an oddball case," attorney John Russo said. "A judgment so old is not usually enforceable, but with a child-support judgment, it is."

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