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Grandparents will fight for custody of grandchild in Missouri

Parents in St. Charles, Missouri, who are headed toward divorce, may face a series of adversities throughout the process. Divorcing parents may become embroiled in a child custody battle in order to determine who wins custody of the child and who will be the parent to pay child support. However, in cases in which both parents have died or become incapable of raising their child, grandparents and other relatives may step up to gain custody of the child.

St. Charles residents may have heard of the custody dispute over the child of the deceased Kansas City Chiefs' linebacker Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend. The four-month-old baby was orphaned when Belcher shot her mother and then committed suicide.

Both maternal and paternal grandparents have petitioned for custody of the child. Two judges from different states oversaw the initial proceedings. The maternal grandparents' lawsuit in Texas was dismissed, as the judges have agreed that the custody battle will be held in Missouri. The paternal grandmother's custody petition was filed in Missouri.

Child custody disputes should not be fought like a tug-of-war, which can cause children to feel torn between their parents or relatives. In this case, both parties should first consider the future of the child. The court's decision regarding this matter is always based on the best interests of the child. As a result, grandparents and relatives seeking custody of a child may need to prove that they are fit and capable of raising the child.

Source: Knoxville News Sentinel, "Custody fight over Belcher's child stays in Mo.," Bill Draper, Jan. 17, 2013

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Joseph J. Porzenski
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