Los Angeles: Michael Jackson’s mother will retain the permanent custody of his three children in an out-of-the court agreement reached with the pop
star's ex-wife Debbie Rowe.
Rowe, who is the biological mother of Jackson's two elder children, will be granted "meaningful visitation rights," with her two biological children with Jackson -- Prince Michael and Paris, media reports indicated.
The biological mother of Jackson's third child, Prince Michael II, 7, also known as Blanket, has never been revealed.
According to the agreement, Katherine Jackson, 79, will maintain the sole custody of Prince Michael-I, 12, Paris-Michael Katherine, 11, and Prince Michael-II "Blanket", 7, while Rowe will retain her legal parental rights.
Katherine and Rowe's lawyers plan to bring the agreement to Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday for the approval of judge Mitchell Beckloff, who had appointed Jackson's mother as the temporary custodian of the children.
"It's an agreement, an agreement for the best interests of the children. This is not a money deal. This is not about money," Londell McMillan, Katherine Jackson's attorney, said in a an interview on CBS News' "The Early Show."
"All of the parties are resolved. There is no situation better for these children than for them to be raised and reared in the loving care of Mrs. Katherine Jackson," he said.
Rowe had earlier indicated to fight for the custody rights of the two children but she decided to give up custody rights after reaching a deal with Katherine, who is said to be close to the children.
"The discussions were amicable and cooperative, rather than a give and take negotiation. Both sides cooperated to reach agreement based solely on the best interest of the children," the source said.
Both Rowe and Katherine will reportedly split the cost of a child psychologist for the children, who have been living with Katherine and Jackson's extended family in Encino, California, since his death on June 25.
A court hearing in Los Angeles on custody of the children is scheduled for Monday. Jackson said in his 2002 will he wanted his mother to care for the children if he died.
The "Thriller" singer left his estate, valued at $500 million in an attachment to his will, to a family trust that benefits his children, his mother and charities.
First Published: Thursday, July 30, 2009, 20:42