The family of a deceased Georgia woman is asking that custody of her children be granted to a grandparent rather than remaining with their father, who is a suspect in the woman’s death, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Nique Leili’s body was found under a pile of leaves outside of the Lawrenceville home she shared with her husband, Matt Leili, and their two daughters. So far, the newspaper reports there have been no arrests in connection with Nique Leili’s death.
Matt Leili has retained child custody of the couple’s daughters, ages 12 and nine, since the victim was reported missing over a week ago. However, Gwinnett County court records show that Matt Leili filed for divorce from his wife on July 13 and asked for sole custody, alimony and child support. The divorce petition was filed two days after Matt Leili told his wife’s family that she was missing.
Police said Matt Leili claims he and his wife had argued on July 8, and he woke up the next morning to find her missing, the newspaper reports.
A lawyer for Nique Leili’s father told the media outlet that he would be filing a petition to allow his client to have legal custody of his grandchildren.
“I have prepared a petition for the grandfather to get at least visitation, if not custody, of the two minor children,” the attorney said. “The first priority is to make sure they’re safe.”
Grandparents must petition a family law court to request full or partial custody of a child, or even visitations. The custody rights of grandparents may be applicable in cases where one or both parents die, or in certain divorce or separation cases.