Mindy McCready's sons may be too young to understand exactly what happened to their mother. But news of McCready's apparent suicide will certainly cause some turmoil in her sons' lives.
McCready was found dead at her home in Arkansas on Sunday after an apparent self-inflicted gun wound. Her children, ages 6 and 10 months, have been in foster care for almost a month since McCready entered a court-ordered rehab clinic.
The next question is, who will gain custody of the two boys?
McCready's older son, Zander, had previously lived with his grandmother up until the end of 2012, reports HLN. Zander's father is Billy McKnight.
McCready's younger son, Zayne, is the son of the late David Wilson, a record producer who also committed suicide earlier this month in the same home where McCready was found dead. Zayne had lived with McCready up until he was placed in foster care.
Generally speaking, however, foster care is for children who don't have adults who are willing or able to care for them.
The boys went into the foster care system because McCready was going through rehab, according to CNN. Now that their mother is gone, there may be other family members who want to care for them.
That doesn't mean the boys will automatically go to one family member or another. Any family member who seeks custody will have to ask the court to release the boys from foster care.
Once children are in the foster care system, their cases are reviewed every few months to check in on how they're doing. At a court hearing, a judge reviews the children's housing arrangements and how they're doing emotionally. If a parent wants to reunite with their children, the court will also determine how much progress that parent has made.
In the case of McCready's sons, however, the person(s) seeking custody will likely have to request a permanency hearing. That person will then have to prove that the children will be safe and cared for if they leave foster care.
At this point it's not clear if any family members will be stepping forward to pursue permanent custody of McCready's sons. Mindy McCready was 37 years old.