Michael Jackson’s family are expected to appear in court today to file for custody of his three children. The family believe the star’s mother, Katherine, is the best suited to care for Prince Michael, 12, Paris Michael Katherine Jackson, 11, and seven-year-old Prince Michael II. Jackson’s two eldest children were both born to his ex-wife Deborah Rowe, while the third was born to an unidentified surrogate mother.
The children were under the full custody of their father, and since his death, they have been staying with their grandparents, Katherine and Joseph Jackson, at the couple’s Encino, California, estate.
After her divorce from Jackson in 1999, Rowe gave up her custody rights until 2003, when a court had her rights restored when Jackson was on trial for child molestation. In 2006, Rowe and Jackson once again worked out a deal that would give Jackson full custodial rights. Legal experts tell the Los Angeles Times that if Rowe were to challenge Katherine Jackson’s petition, she would have a good case as the initial waiving of her parental rights for her two children with Jackson would probably be viewed as illegal. If the birth mother of Prince Michael II were to be revealed, she too would likely cause a challenge for Katherine’s petition.
UsMagazine.com reported that Katherine Jackson was spotted at a Los Angeles Target store over the weekend, stocking up on toys, sleeping bags and other supplies, and an attorney for the family said they had not yet heard from Rowe in the wake of Jackson’s death. Her former attorney told the magazine last week that she was “inconsolable” about the death of her ex-husband.