Jacko, Rowe Nearing Custody Deal

Michael Jackson (search) is nearing a settlement in a legal dispute with his ex-wife over visitation rights for their two children, the singer's attorney said Tuesday.

Deborah Rowe Jackson (search) was married to the singer for three years starting in 1996 and is the mother of 8-year-old Prince Michael and 7-year-old Paris.

She voluntarily gave up her parental rights in 2001, but a judge voided the order at her request in 2004 after her attorneys argued that proper court procedures weren't followed, according to court records.

Her attorneys said at the time she wanted a change in status because Jackson had been charged with child molestation and was associating with the Nation of Islam, which has espoused views many consider anti-Semitic. Jackson's ex-wife is Jewish.

Jackson's attorneys are appealing the decision that voided the order, but Jackson attorney Michael Abrams said in an interview Tuesday that "a settlement is in sight."

"The resolution will be to everybody's satisfaction," he said. "I'm hoping everybody will go away very happy."

Jackson, 46, was acquitted of child molestation charges in June following a trial in which his ex-wife praised him as a good father surrounded by "opportunistic vultures" trying to benefit from his troubles. She also said she hoped to rebuild a relationship with Jackson and the children, calling them, "my family."

Her attorney, Iris Finsilver declined comment on whether a settlement was near, saying, "I wouldn't want to jeopardize anything for the parties."

Jackson also has another child, Prince Michael II, who is also known as "Blanket." The boy's mother has not been publicly identified.