MICHAEL JACKSON's father has agreed to keep his distance from his grandchildren amid reports lawmakers feared his presence in their lives would cost his wife custody of the kids.
Katherine Jackson was made siblings Prince Michael, Paris and Prince Michael II's permanent guardian during a brief court hearing on Monday (03Aug09), but experts feared the grandmother would have a fight on her hands - because of her husband Joe.
They claimed Michael's reports of beatings at the hands of his violent father would push lawmakers to look for custody alternatives, even though the King of Pop wanted his mother to become his three kids' guardian.
Katherine has blasted the reports, insisting stories of her husband's violent behaviour were "cooked up" by the media, but to appease those concerned for the welfare of his grandchildren, Joe Jackson has pledged to keep his distance - and let his wife make all decisions regarding the kids' upbringing.
In a declaration, filed with courts in Los Angeles and obtained by TMZ.com, Joe states, "I have had a close family relationship with these grandchildren since their birth. I do visit the family residence from time to time and will continue to do so, however I will not be involved in raising the children.
"I understand that all decision-making authority regarding the children will rest with Katherine Jackson."
He signs off by heaping praise on his wife's parenting skills, adding, "Katherine Jackson is a wonderful caretaker and guardian, and has done an excellent job raising our children and other grandchildren."