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Court awards custody of orphaned child to mother’s cousin

Any time the custody or guardianship of a child is in question in Clinton Township it’s very important for a parent or guardian to understand the laws that apply to his or her case. Sometimes people have misunderstandings about how the system works, which can affect the outcome of the case.

A 9-month old girl who was left an orphan after her parents’ death has been awarded to her mother’s cousin after a judge ruled that she offered the best possible environment for the girl. The infant lost her parents when her father, Jovan Belcher, who played for the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs at the time, shot and killed the girl’s mother and then took his own life. Belcher’s mother was also seeking custody of the girl, but a judge ruled in favor of the mother’s cousin instead.

According to court papers, the judge based his decision on the two women’s visitation plans for the girl. Reportedly the cousin had presented a plan that was very similar to what a parenting expert who testified in the case recommended would be best for the child. Belcher’s mother had apparently suggested a 50/50 guardianship arrangement, which the parenting expert did not recommend.

In any child custody case, the decisions can have a huge impact on all those involved, especially the children. It’s important that all of the factors be weighed and that the best interest of the children be considered. Hiring an experienced child custody lawyer can be a good idea anytime a child’s guardianship is in question.

Source: The Kansas City Star, “Cousin of Zoey Belcher's mother is awarded guardianship of 9-month-old,” Brian Burnes, June 20, 2013

Lorrie J. Zahodnic

"I will hold you up until you can stand on your own two feet."

Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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