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Child custody dispute ensues over deceased NFL player's daughter

Until a child reaches the age of 18 in Collin County, their parents or a legal guardian are responsible for their care and upbringing. In the event that a child loses both of their parents, disputes between family members over who will have custody sometimes ensue. This can be especially difficult when there is not a pre-determined plan or other arrangement in place to express the parents’ wishes for the care of their child.

These are the circumstances currently surrounding a 9-month-old girl. At least four family members are seeking child custody following the death of her mother and father, NFL player, Jovan Belcher. Her maternal grandparents and aunt, as well as her mother’s cousin and her father’s mother, are all reportedly vying to be named as the girl’s custodial parent. In addition to being granted legal custody in this case, who ever is named the baby’s guardian will also take control of the significant funds that she inherited. 

According to reports, relatives on her mother’s side allegedly refused to return the girl to her paternal grandmother’s care after they took her to Texas for her mother’s funeral. It was not reported whether the infant had been in the care of her father’s mother’s since the time of her parents’ deaths, or if temporary child custody had been granted until a permanent legal decision was reached.

In cases like this, as well as in other types of child custody cases, it may be of particular importance for involved parties to obtain legal representation. An experienced attorney can offer advise based on your specific circumstances and case, as well as be available to answer questions and address concerns that may arise throughout the process.

Source: NBC Sports, “Four different family members fight for right to raise Zoey Belcher”, Mike Florio, June 10, 2013