California residents may know Jon Gosselin from his leading role on the reality television show “Jon and Kate Plus 8.” The 38-year-old celebrity filmed the television show with his wife and children, but he ceased to appear on the show in 2010 after the couple divorced. The divorce was not without incident, and media reports published on May 15 indicate that Gosselin may be considering legal action to seek custody of one of his eight children.
According to the reports, Gosselin decided to bring the child custody action after one of his daughters was reluctant to return to her Pennsylvania home after visiting him. The girl is said to have told her father that she no longer wanted to appear on the television show, which has been renamed “Kate Plus 8.” However, Gosselin may have difficulty convincing a judge that appearing on television is detrimental to the girl’s well-being considering that she had been working on the show for several years when the original custody decision was made.
Legal experts were pessimistic about Gosselin’s chances of success if he decided to pursue the case, and they pointed out that courts are very reluctant to separate siblings once custody has been awarded. Child custody decisions are made based upon what is considered to be in the best interests of the child, and much research indicates that children fare much better when they live with their siblings. Observers also noted that claims of cruelty made by an 11-year-old girl may not withstand close scrutiny.
An experienced family law attorney will likely be familiar with child custody cases where resentment has lingered on for years after the matter has been decided by a court. An attorney could point out that child custody arrangements are likely to remain intact unless compelling evidence warranting their reevaluation can be produced.