by Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil

Anyone who watched Michael Jackson’s daughter, Paris, give her un-planned speech at her dad’s funeral can see how much she loved him and what kind of relationship she had with her father. Unfortunately for she and her brother Prince Michael, the sadness may be far from over, and battles over finances are just the beginning. Of course, the question still stands – who will get the kids and how will that be determined? In the apparent absence of a will, would the kids go to their biological mom, Debbie Rowe? It seems as though that won’t argument won’t hold up in court – I hope that continues to be the case, since allowing Rowe custody of the kids would be a type of Financial Infidelity.

Not only that, but it would NOT be in the best interest of the kids, and could present them with attachment disorder later in life. As Anna Freud explained with her extensive research into the subject years ago (which was the basis of courts beginning to take into account what the child actually wanted, and make the child’s best interest a priority), it can be extremely damaging for a kid to go with what amounts to a total stranger. Rowe has declared publicly several times that she does not consider Paris and Prince to be her kids, that she had them Michael and doesn’t want anything to do with them. She told one news outlet:

“I know I will never see them again. I was never cut out to be a mother – I was no good. I don’t want these children in my life. My children are my animals now.”

Sending them to live with her could be the modern equivalent of Biblical King Soloman’s proposal that – when two women were claiming to be the mom of one baby – the baby be cut in half. So – it seems pretty cut and dried – but if the mom doesn’t want the kids, what happens next and how will it play out financially? Debbie Rowe – though her statements are unverified and somewhat dubious – claims that the kids aren’t biologically even Jackson’s. She said that when Michael wanted kids, she was inseminated in order to give birth. If that’s true – or even if it’s not! – you can bet there will be many potential fathers coming out of the woodwork to claim a piece of pop’s legacy. It’s still unclear exactly what and how much this legacy entails but it’s likely going to get messy for all involved – and the kids will be no exception.

As I describe in my book of the same name, Financial Infidelity entails spending deceitfully behind someone’s back and I would venture to say the Jackson inheritance/legacy/custody battle could venture into this territory. Like I mentioned in my previous article, Jackson’s life seemed fraught with instances of Financial Infidelity and it’s easy to see how the people in his life could start spending unwisely – or making unwise financial decisions – behind the backs of his kids. Too many things are unknown at this point, his assets and finances aren’t accounted for, and if these things fall into the wrong hands before everything is worked out, the results could be detrimental for the people I would say are – at least by some token – the heirs to whatever he may have left behind: his kids.

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