Jon Gosselin, the divorced father of eight children that appear in his ex-wife’s TLC reality show “Kate Plus 8,” has expressed an intention to ask for primary custody of only his 11-year-old daughter. This high-profile celebrity custody case illuminates issues of interest to Texas residents grappling with child custody issues.
It has been reported that Gosselin said that his 11-year-old daughter complained that her mother was cruel for reportedly forcing her to appear in new episodes of the television show. Citing her accusation, Gosselin plans to attempt to alter the custody agreement that granted primary custody of all eight children to Kate Gosselin when they divorced.
Commenting on the situation between the notoriously acrimonious couple, an attorney who is not connected with the case said that Gosselin was unlikely to succeed, especially because of his October 2014 eviction from his home. Additionally, courts usually do not favor separating siblings when making custody determinations. If he files a motion to change custody, a court will likely assign a psychiatrist or therapist to assess the children’s situation.
Courts are in general reluctant to modify existing custody orders in the absence of changed circumstances. The non-custodial parent seeking a modification will have to demonstrate such a change as well as show that the modification would be in the child’s best interests. Sometimes courts will take into account the expressed preferences of an older child, but this is weighed against sibling ties as well. Those who are seeking a child custody order modification may want to obtain the assistance of a family law attorney in the preparation of the modification motion as well as in the gathering of the needed evidence.