Michael Jackson's mother was granted custody of his three children Monday as his family went to court in an effort to gain greater control over the late singer's estate.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff affirmed a settlement reached last week between Jackson's mother, Katherine, and Debbie Rowe, Jackson's ex-wife and the mother of the two oldest kids.
The court also granted Mrs Jackson an undisclosed monthly allowance from her son's estate. Jackson's children were also provided a monthly allowance by the court.
The agreement does not involve any financial payments to Rowe "apart from the continuation of spousal support payments" that Michael Jackson agreed to make to Rowe after their divorce, their lawyers said in a joint statement. Rowe will get visits with the children as recommended by a court-appointed psychologist.
Jackson left control of his estate in the hands of John Branca and lawyer John McClain, two music industry figures named in his 2002 will. But his 79-year-old mother is seeking to be named co-executor of the estate, and last week took on the executors asking for wide-ranging information about the estate, including details of his final contract with concert promoter AG for his 50-date comeback tour in London.
Jackson's lawyer Londell McMillan also cast doubts on the legitimacy of the will, saying it was not notarized, and had not been revealed to the family until it filed a petition in court stating that Jackson died without a will.
McMillan also disputed estimates that the Jackson estate was worth $500 million, saying that a more realistic value was $2 billion.