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Belcher custody trial scheduled to begin

Missouri sports fans may be interested in hearing about a child custody dispute involving the child of a famous Kansas City linebacker. In December 2012, Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend before driving to the Chief's training facility and killing himself. The two had argued about issues including money and their child. The two had an infant daughter who has now become embroiled in a child custody dispute between Belcher's mother and the girl's material relatives. Belcher's mother initially took care of the child, who was then eight months old, when she was living in Kansas City. She chose to allow the maternal relatives to take the child so she could attend her mother's funeral, and the family has since refused to return the child. The girl is currently in the custody of her mother's cousin, who lives in Texas. On June 11, the parties will start a trial in Jackson County to determine who should have custody of the girl. It is reported that the parties will call more than 80 witnesses to testify. More than just custody is at stake in this case. The person who obtains custody of the young girl will also gain control of her inheritance, valued at more than $3 million. The girl is the sole beneficiary of Belcher's estate, his life insurance policy and a $1 million payment from the NFL. The Kansas City Chiefs have also set up a trust fund for the child with an additional, undisclosed amount. When there is a dispute over which person should receive the care and custody of a child, the judge is tasked with determining what is in that child's best interests. This involves looking at a number of factors, including which person will help look after the child's emotional well-being. Anyone who is going through a child custody battle could benefit from the legal advice of a family law attorney.

Source: NBC sports, "Families fight for custody of jovan belcher's daughter", Michael David Smith, May 31, 2013