Submitted - October 11, 2019
Colin, White Plains, NY, for appellant.
David Eddy, Jr., White Plains, NY, for petitioner-respondent.
Salihah R. Denman, Harrison, NY, for respondent-respondent.
E. Abrams, White Plains, NY, attorney for the child.
WILLIAM F. MASTRO, J.P. COLLEEN D. DUFFY BETSY BARROS VALERIE
BRATHWAITE NELSON, JJ.
DECISION & ORDER
proceeding pursuant to Family Court Act article 6, the father
appeals from an order of the Family Court, Westchester County
(Hal B. Greenwald, J.), dated October 19, 2018. The order,
insofar as appealed from, after a fact-finding hearing,
granted the petition to award custody of the subject child to
the nonparent petitioner.
that the order is affirmed insofar as appealed from, without
costs or disbursements.
nonparent petitioner filed a petition for custody of the
subject child when the child was 14 years old. At the time
the petition was filed, the petitioner had cared for the
child for approximately four years. After a fact-finding
hearing and an in camera interview with the child (see
Matter of Lincoln v Lincoln, 24 N.Y.2d 270), the Family
Court granted the petition. The father appeals.
a parent has the right to custody of his or her own child
superior to that of any nonparent, a nonparent may show that
the parent has relinquished that right due to surrender,
abandonment, persistent neglect, unfitness, or other like
extraordinary circumstances (see Matter of Joel T. v
Miriam T., 163 A.D.3d 828, 829; Matter of North v
Yeagley, 96 A.D.3d 949, 950). "Where extraordinary
circumstances are present, the court must then consider the
best interests of the child in awarding custody"
(Matter of North v Yeagley, 96 A.D.3d at 950;
see Matter of Joel T. v Miriam T., 163 A.D.3d at
as the Family Court is in the best position to evaluate the
credibility, temperament, and sincerity of the parties, its
determination should be set aside only if it lacks a sound
and substantial basis in the record'" (Matter of
Joel T. v Miriam T., 163 A.D.3d at 829, quoting
Matter of Roberta W. v Carlton McK., 112 A.D.3d 729,
730). Here, we agree with the Family Court's
determination that the petitioner demonstrated that she has
standing to seek custody by establishing the existence of
extraordinary circumstances (see Matter of Laura M. v
Nicole N., 143 A.D.3d 722, 723; Matter of Rochelle
C. v Bridget C., 140 A.D.3d 749, 750). The petitioner
demonstrated that she nurtured the subject child, provided
food and shelter, and took responsibility for his education
and medical needs to such an extent that she provided the
major parental functions for many years, which became more
prevalent in 2016 when the child began living with her. The
father did not attend to the child's basic physical or
psychological needs, was not involved in the child's
education or in the child's medical care, and the child
stayed with him only sporadically. Further, the court's
determination that awarding custody of the child to the
petitioner was in the child's best interests has a sound
and substantial basis in the record (see Eschbach v
Eschbach, 56 N.Y.2d 167, 171).
father's remaining contention is without merit.
MASTRO, JP, DUFFY, BARROS and ...