There’s been a lot of news concerning Michael Jackson’s children over the years; mainly over whom their proper caretakers are.  Debbie Rowe is the birthmother to the children. However, Katherine Jackson, mother of Michael Jackson, and her grandson T.J. Jackson, have been much bigger parts of the children’s lives throughout the years.  They were both recently granted co-guardianship of the three children.  Co-guardianship is defined as “A guardianship with two or more persons acting as guardian for the person or property or both.”  In this case, the “wards” subject to the guardianship are Michael Jackson’s three children- Paris, Blanket, and Prince Michael Jackson.  Like with any legal arrangement, there are some “stipulations” to the guardianship. Debbie Rowe, birthmother to the three children, has said that if the guardianship is untenable, unstable, unsafe, or in any way contrary to the best interests of the children that she would seek court intervention.

The purpose of a guardianship is to ensure someone whom a Court has deemed incapacitated and their property is protected by a guardian who make personal and financial decisions for them, while providing them with basic necessities such as healthcare, nutrition, and education. In guardianship cases, if the Court sees the appointed guardian is not adequately protecting the ward, it has the power to take action and potentially remove the guardian.

Florida law requires the Court appoint minor children a guardian in cases where the parents (or natural guardians) die or become incapacitated. These guardians are then required to manage the children’s assets as well as make all of their legal decisions for them. The Courts keep up with these appointed guardians by requiring them to file both Initial and Annual Court Reports so that the legal system can keep track of whether or not they are protecting the interests of the ward.  Although not in Florida, Katherine and T.J. Jackson will likely be required to submit reports covering expenses spent on the children’s behalf.

If you believe a guardianship may be necessary to protect a loved one, you should seek legal counsel. At Liebenhaut Law, we deal with all aspects of Family Law, including elder and guardianship issues in and around the Tallahassee area. If you would like to talk about setting up a consultation, call our office at (850)-270-6977.