The Minneapolis Star Tribune recently reported that the cousin of Kasandra Perkins prevailed in a custody battle against the baby's grandmother. This unconventional child custody dispute began after the murder-suicide of Kasandra Perkins and NFL player Jovan Belcher. Belcher and Perkins had a 9-month-old baby that was left without a parent after the tragedy.
This set in motion a custody dispute over which relative would be given custody of the baby girl. Two relatives eventually came forward, Belcher's mother and Perkins' first cousin. According to reports, the judge was concerned about the grandmother's smoking habit and multiple police calls to her home in the past year. Also weighing on the decision was the fact the child had been living with Perkins' cousin since the incident and developed a bond. Perkins' cousin is married to Chiefs' running back Jamaal Charles.
Typically, child custody disputes arise in the midst of a divorce or other separation. But, numerous other events can also create instances of custody disputes. Family legal issues from drug use, prison time or even death can result in the need for a non-parent to assume custody. While grandparents are often the ones stepping up to the plate, other relatives and friends may also have a claim.
In such scenarios it is vital to have an experienced family law attorney. Local St. Paul attorneys have decades of experience managing custody battles of all shapes and sizes. They can pursue full legal custody by showing the court how the best interests of the child would be served. Or, these professionals can simply ensure visitation rights in the event a non-blood relative is given custody.
No matter what transpired to put a child's custody in issue, their interests going forward are paramount. Local attorneys know this and can help their client's secure the outcome they desire.
Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune, "Mo. Judge awards custody of deceased Chiefs' player Jovan Belcher's daughter to cousin," Bill Draper, June 20, 2013