When tragic events occur to Alabama parents, one of the first concerns is often what happens to the children. Not only do the children have to face overwhelming emotional issues, they may also be the subject of child custody issues in terms of who gets custody after a parent is gone.
This is currently the case with country singer Mindy McCready’s children, after the singer recently committed suicide. McCready had two children, a 6-year-old and a 10-month-old, from two different fathers. The children had already been the subject of a custody dispute, as they had been placed in foster care while McCready attended court-ordered rehab.
The older child’s father is now working to get his son out of foster care. As for the younger son, his father was also suspected of committing suicide recently, leaving it unclear who will maintain legal custody over the boy. McCready’s mother and stepfather have indicated they want custody of both children, presenting a possible custody dispute, at least with respect to the older child.
Typically, biological parents are given some preference in a custody dispute with a non-biological parent. In a case where both parents are deceased, others may try to obtain custody, which some states refer to as guardianship in these circumstances.
These individuals, including relatives of the child, must usually petition the court for custody, indicating their relationship to the child, the status of the parents and why the person is seeking custody. The court will then examine what is in the best interests of the child, as the court does in other custody situations.
Source: Fox News, “Mindy McCready’s children: what will happen to her sons,” Feb. 21, 2013