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24 Aug 2012

A US judge has finalised an arrangement for Michael Jackson's nephew to serve as a guardian to the singer's children.

TJ Jackson will share responsibility for raising Prince, 15; Paris, 14; and Blanket, 10, with their grandmother, Katherine Jackson.

The arrangement means if one of them is no longer able to serve, the other would become the sole guardian.

TJ was made a temporary guardian last month after concerns were raised over Mrs Jackson's health.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff made his ruling after considering a letter submitted by Diana Ross, which was not made public.

The singer had been named in Jackson's will as a potential guardian.

The judge said Mrs Jackson was doing a good job in raising the three children but noted that having a co-guardian would allow for continuity in their lives if she was no longer able to serve.

The decision follows recent turmoil after the 82-year-old was reported missing.

She had not had contact with her grandchildren for 10 days, but later turned up in Arizona publicly denying rumours she had been kidnapped by some of her adult children.

After the ruling Mrs Jackson's lawyer, Sandra Ribera, reaffirmed her client's competence and control over the children and approved of the decision to have TJ act as co-guardian.

"Mrs Jackson is a well-informed, strong woman who makes her own decisions and can't be influenced by anyone when it comes to these children," she said.

Debbie Rowe, the mother of Prince and Paris, has also indicated she is comfortable with the arrangement.

Prince Michael II, nicknamed Blanket, was born to a surrogate. His mother's identity has never been revealed.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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