Judge orders co-guardianship for Michael Jackson's kids

From left, Blanket Jackson, Prince Jackson, Paris Jackson and Katherine Jackson appear at the Michael Jackson Hand and Footprint ceremony on Jan. 26, 2012, in Los Angeles. Getty

From left, Blanket Jackson, Prince Jackson, Paris Jackson and Katherine Jackson appear at the Michael Jackson Hand and Footprint ceremony on Jan. 26, 2012, in Los Angeles.
Getty Images

(CBS/AP) A judge reinstated Katherine Jackson as the guardian of Michael Jackson's three children in an arrangement Thursday that also keeps their cousin as temporary co-guardian.

Pictures: Michael Jackson's children

Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff said during a hearing that an investigator who looked into the children's care found that the late pop star's 82-year-old mother was an excellent guardian and the children love her very much.

"I think the kids are in terrific hands," the judge said. "It appears from the report that Katherine Jackson has done a wonderful job and cares about the children very much."

Beckloff noted that the children, Prince, 15, Paris, 14 and Blanket, 10, also have a close relationship with their 34-year-old cousin TJ Jackson, who was named temporary guardian last week after working closely with Katherine Jackson since Michael Jackson died.

TJ is "incredibly respectful" of the family matriarch and she is respectful of him, the judge said.

Beckloff said he will finalize the arrangement later in the month but for now will issue letters of co-guardianship allowing both Jacksons to make decisions about the children's welfare.

TJ Jackson's new co-guardianship status is temporary, but the judge could make it permanent when he convenes the next court hearing on Aug. 22.

The shared guardianship plan apparently is designed to allow Katherine Jackson to focus on the children's upbringing and not on the home or logistics issues, according to her lawyer Pettery Sanders Jr.  It  removes pressure from Katherine Jackson who was previously named in her son's will as the children's sole guardian.

The changes in guardianship come on the heels of family dissension over Michael Jackson's will, which left nothing to his siblings when he died three years ago. Several of them signed a letter that was leaked to the media alleging the will was a fake and calling on executors of the estate to resign.

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