IN RE: Paternity Proceeding Harold PITTS

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Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York.

IN RE: Paternity Proceeding Harold PITTS, Jr., Petitioner-Appellant, v. Andretta Garnes DENNIS, Respondent-Respondent.

Decided: January 16, 1997

Before MURPHY, P.J., and SULLIVAN, ROSENBERGER, WILLIAMS and ANDRIAS, JJ. Alexander A. Kolben, for Petitioner-Appellant. Arza Rayches Feldman, for Respondent. Brendan M. Connell, Jr., for Lawyers for Children, Inc.

Order, Family Court, New York County (Leah Marks, J.), entered on or about May 24, 1995, which granted respondent mother custody of and petitioner father visitation rights with the parties' child, unanimously affirmed, without costs.   The appeal from the order entered on or about November 1, 1995, which set forth a visitation schedule, unanimously dismissed, without costs, as abandoned.

Family Court appropriately stated the ultimate fact it deemed essential to its determination of custody (see, Matter of Jose L. I., 46 N.Y.2d 1024, 416 N.Y.S.2d 537, 389 N.E.2d 1059), which is supported by the record, namely, that most of the father's parental responsibilities were discharged by his mother and sister during the time the child was in his custody.   We agree with Family Court that such circumstance makes it in the child's best interests that the mother have custody (see, Friederwitzer v. Friederwitzer, 55 N.Y.2d 89, 95, 447 N.Y.S.2d 893, 432 N.E.2d 765).