The custody hearing for Michael Jackson’s children went on as expected today in Los Angeles Superior Court after having been twice postponed. Judge Mitchell Beckloff awarded Katherine Jackson permanent custody of Prince, Paris and “Blanket.” Debbie Rowe, the biological mother of the two older children, will get visitation and her spousal support will continue.( The original agreement between Rowe and Michael Jackson specified that spousal support was to continue even in the event of his death, according to Diane Goodman, attorney for Mrs. Jackson’s custody issues, and no additional payments would be forthcoming to Rowe.) The parties had agreed to those terms before entering the courtroom this morning. Katherine Jackson was present at the hearing along with her daughters, La Toya and Rebbie and son, Randy. Debbie Rowe did not attend but was represented by her attorney, Eric George.
Arnie Klein Seeks Input in Custody Hearing
Before Judge Beckloff could rule on custody, according to FOX LA News,” an objection from Jackson’s longtime dermatologist stunned the courtroom.” The attorney for Dr. Arnold Klein asked to be heard. Mark Vincent Kaplan said that Dr. Klein, who was present, was concerned about Joe Jackson’s involvement with the children and wanted input as to the education and welfare of Prince, 12 and Paris, age 11. (Kaplan, also happens to be Kevin Federline’s lawyer.) The judge ruled that Dr. Klein had no legal standing in the case and that Michael Jackson and Debbie Rowe are recognized as the parents. There have been rumors that Klein is actually the biological father of the two older Jackson children. The lawyers for Katherine Jackson said that they were perplexed as to what Dr. Klein was actually trying to accomplish by petitioning the court to be heard in the custody hearing. However, the judge did say that he could raise objections in the future. The judge also determined allowances for Katherine Jackson as well as the children.
Judge Beckloff excused Prince and Paris from the hearing today but both children signed consent forms that their grandmother should be their permanent guardian. Also, Joe Jackson “voluntarily” signed consent that his wife become his grandchildren’s guardian and although McMillan said that “he will not have a role in raising the children,” Joe Jackson signed a declaration that he lives in Las Vegas and would see the kids occasionally.
Michael Jackson’s Will Probated
In addition to custody being determined today, Michael Jackson’s will was entered into probate. Katherine Jackson scored a victory when Judge Beckloff ruled that concert promoter AEG provide a copy of their contract with the late singer to Mrs. Jackson, as she had been requesting. Judge Beckloff also extended the appointments of the executors of Michael Jackson’s will for sixty days. Mrs. Jackson has been a trustee in the Michael Jackson Family Trust which was set up in 2002. She wants to be a third executor or trustee for the estate in addition to the named executors, John Branca and John McClain. There was originally a third executor named in Michael Jackson’s will, Barry Siegel, who has dropped out. The will states that a replacement may be named .
Katherine Jackson must walk a fine line in challenging the executors of her son’s estate without actually contesting her son’s will. If she gets a ruling in her favor, she will not be at risk of losing her 40 percent share of Michael Jackson’s estate in contesting the current selection of executors. Londell McMillan said Monday that Mrs. Jackson was Michael Jackson’s “most trusted adviser” and should be included in any decisions regarding her son’s estate. He stated that he will prove to the court that conditions which existed when the will was written and executors were selected, no longer should pertain due to conflict of interest and other changes in the relationships between the executors and Michael Jackson.