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MUSIC > Jackson's mother, nephew to share custody of children

LOS ANGELES - Agence France-Presse

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Michael Jackson's mother will share custody of his children with his nephew, lawyers said Friday after a hectic week for the musical family.

Katherine Jackson, 82, met with her grandson TJ Jackson, 34, Thursday and agreed that joint custody is in the best interest of the children, the Jackson family matriarch's lawyer Perry Sanders said in a statement.

"Mrs Jackson is extremely pleased with the prospect of enjoying the pleasure of raising Michael's children without the day-to-day tedium of items such as managing the large staff that goes with such a high-profile family and focus her attention on being a grandmother and raising Michael's children," Sanders said.

The Jackson family will formalize the new custody arrangement early next week, Sanders said, ending the family's dispute over the custody of 15-year-old Prince, Paris,14, and Blanket,10.

Under the arrangement, T.J. Jackson would oversee the children's schooling as well as the household staff and security, while Katherine Jackson would keep control of the children's financial allowance from the singer's estate, according to the statement.

"She is eager to simply enjoy her great relationship with these children, while deeding over some of the stressors that go hand in hand with being a guardian," Sanders pointed out.

Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff has also ordered probate court investigator Cary Ornelas to prepare an investigation concerning the status of the three children and the elder Jackson.

"The court orders that Ms Ornelas have direct access to the children and authorizes Ms Ornelas to interview the children at their school on an unannounced basis," Beckloff said in his ruling.

On Wednesday, the Superior Court in Los Angeles granted TJ temporary custody of the children, because of Katherine Jackson's mysterious disappearance for 10 days. She had previously been the children's guardian. The fractious Jackson family has been embroiled in legal and financial disputes since the pop star's sudden death in June 2009 from an overdose of propofol, a powerful anesthetic.

Entertainment media portrayed the 82-year-old Jackson's absence as an abduction by Michael's siblings, who are allegedly furious they did not inherit any of the singer's assets.

Katherine Jackson controls the $70,000 per month that Michael Jackson left his family in his will.

The document grants TJ custody of the children, if Katherine Jackson dies while they are still minors.

Together with his brothers Taj and Taryll, TJ is part of an R&B band they started in the 1990s, 3T, which performed a tribute to Michael Jackson in October 2011 in Britain.

July/28/2012

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