MJ’s kids to stay with granny

LOS ANGELES: 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”.

A source with direct knowledge of the agreement told ABC News that under the agreement, Katherine 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 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 California, 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 rumoured that eldest Jackson sibling Rebbie, 59, may care for the children while Katherine retained custody, there was no mention of any siblings in the agreement. Rumours that Rowe was seeking money in return for the children’s custody were false, the source said.

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

Lawyers for Katherine and Rowe plan to bring the agreement to Los Angeles Superior Court on August 3 with the expectation that probate judge Mitchell Beckloff will approve it.