More than a month after  Kansas City Chiefs player Jovan Belcher (pictured) shot and killed girlfriend Kassandra Perkins (pictured)before killing himself at Arrowhead Stadium, the families of the couple’s daughter are engaged in a fierce custody battle, the New York Post reports.

Currently, four-month-old Zoey Belcher is living with her maternal relatives in Texas, according to a lawyer for Cheryl Shepherd, Belcher’s mother. Two weeks prior to the murder-suicide, Shepherd had moved in with her son’s family. She also received custody of Zoey shortly after the shooting, and filed a legal petition to be named her granddaughter’s guardian and conservator of her estate in Jackson County Probate Court Dec. 14.

However, Zoey is no longer in her paternal grandmother’s care, according to Gretchen M. Gold, Shepherd’s lawyer.

“Cheryl agreed to temporarily allow the maternal relatives (to) take Zoey to Texas for her mother’s funeral,” Gold wrote in an e-mail to a probate commissioner. But Zoey has yet to be returned to her paternal family side. “The maternal relatives have now ceased communicating with Cheryl Shepherd and have refused to return her calls or return the child to her care.”

That is because Zoey’s maternal grandparents have filed a lawsuit seeking temporary custody, the girl’s relocation to Tarrant County, Texas and a guardian ad litem for her best interests. The hearing for that case will take place Jan. 22. Gold says that if the hearing does occur, Shepherd will be present and ready to fight. “We intend to fight the matter in Texas on Jan. 22 if that hearing takes place,” she wrote.

According to the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, Zoey’s legal guardian or estate is set to receive over $1,000,000. This includes $108,000 per year over the next four years. The fifth year would garner $48,000; $52,000 would continue coming in each year until she becomes 18. Should Zoey attend college, she would continue receiving that amount until she turns 23.

Zoey could also stand to receive additional financial support from a trust by the Kansas City Chiefs and public contributions.

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8 thoughts on “Families Of Jovan Belcher, Kassandra Perkins Battle For Custody Of Baby Zoey

  1. I don’t think it has anything to do with the money. I can totally understand Kassandra’s mother wanting custody of her grandchild. One life can never replace another one but it can ease some of the pain. If Kassandra’s mother can show the court that she can provide a stable environment for her grandchild she should be awarded full custody.

  2. Kassandra’s mother she be awarded custody of her grandchild. While jovan chose to end his life, Kassandra’s life was taken by Jovan. Her mother should be allowed release some of her grief through the love of Zoey.

  3. Debbie on said:

    #1. If I was the girl’s mother, there would be no way in hell the guys mother would get my baby….The baby came from my daughter, so the baby is mine….#2. No money should be paid until a paternity test is done…They guy might not have been the baby’s father….

  4. Who didn’t see this coming as soon as they announced how much money the baby would be entitled to. The baby should be with whomever will provide for her well-being best…be it the mother’s family or the father’s family. The tragedy should not be the ONLY deciding factor in that. They didn’t seem to be fighting over the baby until the money was disclosed and if the truth be spoken…money changes a lot of people’s minds.

  5. Pingback: Families Of Jovan Belcher, Kassandra Perkins Battle For Custody Of Baby Zoey | Praise 1300

  6. I say the day of the Killing I Hope Ms. Perkins Family get a Law Firm and go after his Mother and Family He Kill there Daughter and now his family want to act like he done nothing wrong I hope Ms. Perkins Family get some rights too. and this child money is put in Trust till she’s 25 or 30 and no one is allow touch.

  7. April white on said:

    The mothers family should have the child !!! He killed the mother and himself why should his family be rewarded custody ???? Seems only fair her family should raise her … so tragic what a coward

  8. I believe the mother family has the right to the baby and I mean her parents just remember the other grandma son took their daughter and it is not your fault and I think the young Man mom should get vistion but I believe she should be with her mom parents

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