Your Voice Your Vote 2024

Live results
Last Updated: April 23, 10:42:16PM ET

Custody Agreement Gives Michael Jackson Children to Grandmother Katherine

Source tells ABC News a custody agreement has been reached.

ByABC News
July 30, 2009, 7:13 AM

July 30, 2009— -- After weeks of negotiations, Michael Jackson's mother Katherine Jackson and his ex-wife Debbie Rowe have reached an out-of-court agreement that gives Katherine Jackson full, permanent custody of the pop icon's three children, while Rowe will be granted "meaningful visitation rights," ABC News has learned.

A source with direct knowledge of the agreement told ABC News that under the agreement, Katherine Jackson maintains sole custody of Prince Michael I, 12, Paris-Michael Katherine, 11, and Prince Michael II, 7, also known as Blanket, while Rowe will have meaningful visitation rights and retain her legal parental rights.

Rowe and Katherine Jackson will split the cost of a child psychologist for the children, who have been living with their grandmother and their extended family at the Jackson family home in Encino, Calif., since Michael Jackson's June 25 death.

"The discussions were amicable and cooperative, rather than a give and take negotiation," the source told ABC News. "Both sides cooperated to reach agreement based solely on the best interest of the children."

Though it had been rumored that eldest Jackson sibling Rebbie Jackson, 59, may care for the children while Katherine Jackson retained custody, there was no mention of any siblings in the agreement.

Rumors that Rowe was seeking money in return for the the children's custody were false, the source said.

"No money was sought or agreed to," the source said, "except that Debbie Rowe will continue to receive the spousal support that she and Michael agreed to when Michael was alive."

The source also told ABC News that Rowe is the biological mother of Jackson's two eldest children, Prince Michael I and Paris. It had been reported that Rowe may not have been the older children's biological mother, something the source said is untrue.

Blanket, Michael Jackson's youngest child, was born to an unnamed surrogate after Jackson and Rowe divorced.

Lawyers for Katherine Jackson and Rowe plan to bring the agreement to Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday with the expectation that probate judge Mitchell Beckloff will approve it.