It's official: TJ and Katherine Jackson have been granted permanent co-guardianship of Michael Jackson's kids, TMZ reports.
The decision comes less than a month after TJ, the children's cousin, was granted temporary guardianship of Prince, Paris, and Blanket Jackson. As co-guardians, TJ and Katherine will now share the day-to-day responsibilities that come with raising the children.
Last month, TJ was granted temporary guardianship of the kids after grandmother Katherine went missing for several days. Katherine was later found in Arizona with friends, but the episode led to rumors that the Jackson family was detaining Katherine for the purpose of coercion.
Now TJ will share guardianship of Michael Jackson's kids with Katherine. Members of the Jackson family, including Katherine, have long supported TJ in taking a guardianship role. According to TMZ, TJ has been a father figure to the children for years, so the transition should go smoothly.
Co-guardianship will likely give TJ and Katherine joint legal and physical custody of the children. In general, legal custody gives the guardian the right to make important decisions about the children's lives. That can include decisions about their health, education, and religious upbringing.
On the other hand, joint physical custody would mean that the children split their time living with both TJ and Katherine. Since TJ and Katherine live near each other, joint physical custody may not be a problem. However, courts often avoid granting joint physical custody where moving between parents or guardians would disrupt the children's school or social lives.
Co-guardianship also means that if either Katherine or TJ Jackson is no longer able to serve, the other would become the sole guardian of Michael Jackson's kids. Since Katherine Jackson is in her 80s, TJ may find himself sole guardian in the not-so-distant future.