The mother of Kansas City Chiefs player Jovan Belcher, who killed both himself and the mother of his child last month, is seeking child custody in a petition filed with the probate court in Kansas City. Belcher's mother, who resides in New York, has filed for custody of the 4-month-old daughter of the deceased couple as well as a petition to be administrator of Belcher's estate.
However, Belcher's mother is not automatically the first choice for custody. Relatives of the mother have now entered their own petition to be considered for custody of the child as well. The next hearing is expected to change the status of the custody case from uncontested to contested based on the entry of the new custody petition.
Child custody in the wake of such a terrible tragedy can become a very emotional matter, especially when members of both sides of the family are battling for custody. The fact that Belcher killed the child's mother may enter into the arguments about the best placement for the baby.
Most custody cases do not involve tragedies of this magnitude. However, when a baby is orphaned through a tragedy, the family members on both sides may want custody of the child. A family law attorney can represent family members who are interested in seeking custody of a child in such circumstances and can assist them in coming to an agreement with other family members who may also want to raise the child.
Source: KSDK News, "Jovan Belcher child custody hearing in Missouri court," Jan. 11, 2013