Parents Of Both Jovan Belcher And Kasandra Perkins Stuck In Custody Battle Over The Late Couple’s Daughter

January 8, 2013  |  

At four months old, the familial life of baby Zoey seems to be in turmoil. Her father, Jovan Belcher, shot and killed her mother after a very ugly argument in December, but now her grandparents are at odds over who should take custody of her.  After the tragedy occurred that took the lives of both of her parents, according to the Daily Mail, authorities handed little Zoe over to Belcher’s mother, Cheryl Shepherd, who was actually present at the time when Belcher shot and killed Kasandra Perkins. But when Shepherd let Perkins’ family take the little girl to Texas so that she could attend her mother’s funeral, they decided NOT to bring her back. They’ve also stopped communicating with Shepherd, and it’s been drama ever since.

Shepherd is now seeking full custody of Zoe, and with that responsibility, she would also get to be conservator of the child’s estate, while Zoe’s maternal grandparents and other family members are also filing suit, asking to care for the girl, that her residence be in Texas, and that a guardian ad litem would be appointed by the courts to handle her benefits. As we told you before, as part of the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, under the new Surviving Child benefit, Zoe will be able to collect $108,000 each year from now until she is 5, and after that she will receive $48,000, and then $52,000 until she is 18 or 23 years old, depending on whether or not she goes to college. But we’re going to just assume the intentions of both of these families are good, that they just want to have this child around because they love her, and that the battle between them has nothing to do with the money she will receive at all.

The couple had many issues while together, and reports say that Belcher was seeing another woman, Brittni Glass, who claimed that Belcher made threats of violence about Perkins before the murder-suicide. But according to the New York Post, it is alleged that the argument that took place between Belcher and Perkins on that fateful night had less to do with Glass, and had a lot to do with whether or not Zoe was his daughter at all, which was confirmed as an issue between the two by a Kansas city police officer. Because of all this, some have asked why Shepherd would try and seek custody of a child that might not be her son’s. But I’m sure all the confusion with that will be cleared up soon enough, because according to the Daily Mail, hearings are scheduled to take place on the subject of who Zoe will go with, as well as specifics regarding her Surviving Child Benefits, starting later this month.

I know this is a very terrible and touchy time for both families. I’m sure Shepherd has a bond with the child after helping take care of her while her son and Perkins were alive and after their deaths, and at the same time, after losing Kasandra, I’m sure her family, who lives all the way in Texas would like to hold on to a little piece of their daughter through their grandbaby. I’m sure they both have good reasons to take full custody of Zoey, but for the child’s sake, it would be nice if they could just share custody in a civil manner. How that would be done with everyone living far away from one another, I’m not sure, but it would be nice. However, it’s up to a judge to figure out what’s not “nice,” but what’s best for this little girl.


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