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Couple's death spurs child custody battle

The death of both parents can create a permanent emotional burden in the life of an infant. While the impact of such a loss will not be fully understood at an early age, there will eventually come a point where the need for parental bonding is essential. If the appropriate emotional support is not in place then the child may struggle to accept the loss. In cases like these, a child custody ruling can determine the best guardians to guide the child into adulthood.

This sad reality unfolded in the life of an infant who was born only three months ago. Following an argument between the child's parents, the infant's mother was fatally shot and killed. The child's father - Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher - later committed suicide.

Family members are now seeking custody of the infant. The child was placed into the paternal grandmother's care; she subsequently requested that she be named permanent guardian and conservator. However, the mother's family is also seeking custody and wants the infant and her current living conditions to be evaluated.

Fortunately, it seems that the child's financial needs will at least be met. The child stands to receive more than $1 million from the NFL, in the form of life insurance, pension and survivor benefits. An irrevocable trust and a bank account have also been established to benefit her.

Child custody battles occur frequently in Texas. Sometimes the battles are between parents and at other times involve grandparents or other family members. The final custodial decision has to be legally weighed to ensure that the best interests of the child are taken into consideration.

Source: KCTV-TV, "Fight for custody for Jovan Belcher's infant daughter," Betsy Webster and DeAnn Smith, Jan. 4, 2013

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