Joint Guardianship Proposed For MJ's Kids

by Bryan Lynn 10:17 AM PDT, July 27, 2012
Photo: Getty Images

An attorney for Katherine Jackson said Friday that the 82-year-old matriarch will be petitioning the court to reinstate her guardianship of Michael Jackson's three children in an agreement that will also grant Tito Jackson's son TJ permanent co-guardianship.

The attorney, Perry Sanders, said in a statement that the proposal for the new arrangement came about after a meeting between Katherine, TJ's attorney and Michael's son Prince Michael, who was said to be representing the wishes of all three children. The petition is expected to be filed with the court next week.

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"The joint filing will request that the court reinstate Mrs. Jackson and appoint TJ as a co-guardian of Michael's children," Sanders said in the statement. "If the court grants this joint request, it will eliminate concerns such as the ones triggered by the events of the last few days," it adds.

The lawyer was referring to ongoing drama in the Jackson family stemming from a dispute over the late pop superstar's lucrative estate and recent confusion about the whereabouts of Katherine. On Wednesday, a judge temporarily suspended Katherine as guardian of Paris, 14, Prince Michael, 15, and Blanket, 10, because she left her Calabasas home for a trip to Arizona and hadn't spoken with the children in several days.

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The judge granted temporary guardianship of the children to TJ, who had intended to file for permanent guardianship before the latest proposed agreement was reached with Katherine.

Sanders' statement said the new arrangement "will essentially now legally reflect how Mrs. Jackson and TJ have often shared  responsibilities of raising the children" since the pop superstar's death in 2009. "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."

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"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," the statement adds.

In another development, a judge on Friday ordered an investigation into the well-being of Michael's children in light of the events over the past week. Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff's order calls for interviews with all three children independently and a subsequent report that is to be reviewed only by the judge, not attorneys involved in the case. 

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In the order, the judge states that the investigation is intended to address "the status of the minor children and their currently suspended guardian, Katherine Jackson." The court investigator was ordered to interview the children at school during an "unannounced" visit.