The Pennsylvania-based reality television show 'Jon and Kate Plus 8" was renamed 'Kate Plus 8" after the titular couple went through a contentious divorce in 2009. While Jon Gosselin may no longer appear on the rebooted program, he continues to be fodder for celebrity gossip columnists. The 38-year-old father was in the news again in May 2015 when reports emerged that he was contemplating a legal action to obtain custody of one of his eight children.
According to media reports, Gosselin is considering filing a child custody petition because his 11-year-old daughter was reluctant to return to her mother's Wernersville home after visiting him. The girl is said to have told her father that she no longer wanted to appear on television and had been treated cruelly by her mother.
Legal experts say that Gosselin faces an uphill battle if he decides to pursue the case. They point out that child custody orders are unlikely to be modified unless clear evidence is provided to show that the current living arrangements are no longer in the best interests of the child. Observers also say that claims of abuse made by an 11-year-old are likely to be treated with a certain degree of skepticism unless they can be substantiated. Seeking custody of only one child may also be challenging for Gosselin as studies indicate that children are generally happier when they live with their brothers and sisters.
Negotiations over child custody can become heated, and legal actions initiated years later to modify these arrangements can cause a great deal of distress to custodial parents. Family law attorneys could advocate on behalf of custodial parents facing such challenges, and they could also point out the strict standards that must be met for such actions to be successful.