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Custody granted for late linebacker's orphaned child

New Mexico readers may be interested to learn that custody of the orphaned daughter of the late Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher has been awarded to her mother's cousin. Belcher killed the child's mother and then himself. The child custody case was decided by the Jackson County Probate Commissioner in Kansas City.

The court had been asked to choose between the child's paternal grandmother and a maternal cousin. The Commissioner stated that both women would make appropriate guardians for the girl. He chose the mother's cousin as the person most suitable to serve the child's best interests.

The women both agreed that any funds that were due to the child would be managed by a corporate fiduciary. The choice of a corporate fiduciary is meant to ensure that the young girl's finances will be managed by a neutral third party. This will safeguard them from family members who may wish to use the finances for personal gain. This may help to demonstrate that the two potential guardians for the child have her best interests at heart rather than a desire for financial benefit.

Child custody disputes can be some of the most emotionally charged legal issues. When emotions are high, it can be difficult for those close to the situation to clearly see what is best for a child. It may be helpful for families to seek the counsel of a neutral third party such as an attorney who specializes in family law. An attorney may be able to help families determine what is in the best interest of a child through mediation or counseling. The attorney may have several resources available to help families through the emotionally challenging process of determining custody arrangements. For example, some attorneys may recommend that family members seek help from a licensed therapist to help determine what custody arrangement will work best for the child.

Source: NBC Sports, "Custody of Zoey Belcher awarded to mother’s cousin", Josh Alper, June 20, 2013