Beckloff said during a hearing after Jackson resurfaced that an investigator who looked into the children’s care found that the late pop star’s 82-year-old mother was an excellent guardian and the children love her very much.
“I think the kids are in terrific hands,” the judge said. “It appears from the report that Katherine Jackson has done a wonderful job and cares about the children very much.”
Beckloff noted that the children also have a close relationship with their 34-year-old cousin TJ Jackson, who was named temporary guardian last week after working closely with Katherine Jackson since Michael Jackson died.
TJ is “incredibly respectful” of the family matriarch and she is respectful of him, the judge said.
Beckloff said he will finalize the arrangement later in the month but for now will issue letters of co-guardianship allowing both Jacksons to make decisions about the children’s welfare.
TJ Jackson’s new co-guardianship status is temporary, but the judge could make it permanent when he convenes the next court hearing on Aug. 22.
The shared guardianship plan is apparently designed to remove pressure from Katherine Jackson who was previously named in her son’s will as the children’s sole guardian.
Sanders has said the arrangement will allow her to focus on the children’s upbringing and not on home or logistics issues.
The changes in guardianship come on the heels of family dissension over Michael Jackson’s will, which left nothing to his siblings when he died three years ago. Several of them signed a letter that was leaked to the media alleging the will was a fake and calling on executors of the estate to resign.
The dispute at one point led to a driveway confrontation involving several family members at the Calabasas mansion where Katherine Jackson and the children have been living.
On Wednesday, Jermaine Jackson issued a plea for peace in the family and withdrew his support of the letter.
He wrote that the family is still raw from Michael Jackson’s death, and his mother has endured incredible stress and pressures since then.
• AP entertainment writer Anthony McCartney contributed to this story.