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Jackson family child custody struggles may soon be resolved

Colorado residents may have found it hard to miss the recent media coverage surrounding the latest chapter in the child custody battle among family of deceased pop star Michael Jackson. Jackson's estate plan granted child custody rights of his three children to his mother, Katherine Jackson. She has been raising the kids over the past three years amid family dissension over the legitimacy of the estate, which left nothing to any of the singer's siblings.

When Katherine Jackson was taken to a spa for a vacation, she was kept from communicating with her grandchildren. After a period of 10 days with no word from her, a court granted temporary guardianship to one of her nephew, T.J. Jackson. According to reports, T.J. has been assisting in the care of the children since their father's death.

Upon her return, the court found that the children were receiving excellent care in the hands of their grandmother, and that an investigation revealed that she has done nothing wrong in her role as guardian.

The judge also acknowledged that T.J. Jackson was also close to his young cousins and has a solid and respectful relationship with Katherine. The two have worked out a custody agreement that will share the care and custody of the children between them, with T.J. handling the maintenance of the family's staff and residence, while Katherine will focus on taking care of the children. That agreement is expected to be finalized in the coming weeks.

This case may be unusual due to the fame of the players and the high value of the estate involved, but it is an excellent example of the variety of child custody arrangements that are available to parents or legal guardians. When it comes to ensuring a healthy and safe environment for the child or children involved, family court judges are often willing to approve agreements that clearly respect the kids' needs. Anyone in Colorado who is facing a child custody struggle should be aware that with the proper guidance, a settlement can often be reached that suits the needs and desires of all involved, even if that agreement is not as "traditional" as most.

Source: Fox News, "Katherine Jackson says she was kept from communicating, was unaware she was reported missing," Aug. 2, 2012

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