Jackson's Ex-Wife Wants to See Kids
LOS ANGELES – Michael Jackson's (search) ex-wife Deborah Rowe (search) is seeking visitation rights with their children, according to court documents.
Jackson attorney Thomas Hall said in the Superior Court filing Wednesday that he is preparing an appeal of a recent decision by a retired judge regarding the matter. Hall plans to file documents from the case and asks that they be sealed because they contain information about Jackson's assets and liabilities.
The lawyer says that while the issue is separate from Jackson's criminal case in Santa Barbara County, that matter has "exponentially increased the press attention on the parties and their lives."
Rowe's attorney Iris Finsilver, who participated by speakerphone in a hearing Wednesday, opposed the request.
Judge Robert Schnider continued the case until Feb. 2.
Rowe and Jackson were married in 1996 in Sydney, Australia, after they announced that Rowe, who worked as a nurse for Jackson's plastic surgeon, was carrying the pop star's child.
The marriage ended in 1999 after Rowe filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. Their two children, Paris, who is 5 or 6, and Prince Michael, who is 8, reportedly live with Jackson.
Rowe gave up all parental rights in 2001, but applied for custody of the children two years later, after which both sides agreed to have retired Superior Court Judge Stephen Lachs preside over the case.
Lachs denied custody but also voided the order terminating Rowe's parental rights. Rowe then filed applications, including one seeking "settlement" terms with Jackson. All were all denied by Lachs, according to court documents.