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Jon Gosselin Cites “Cruelty,” Seeks Custody of One of Eight Children

Kate Gosselin  at an appearance signing copies of her new book "When TLC began airing Jon & Kate Plus 8 in 2007, audiences were captivated by the lives of a couple raising a set of twins as well as sextuplets. Watching the family try to create a somewhat normal life was both fascinating and painful, at times, because the strain began to show. By 2009, Jon and Kate Gosselin had filed for divorce, the show ended and a myriad of scandals began.

Since then, things have been less than amicable between the pair with both hurling accusations of infidelity and poor parenting at each other but it seems as though the level of discord is about to be kicked up a notch.

Custody Battle

Since the split, Jon has struggled to maintain a job (or a residence!) so it is a bit surprising that he has decided to file for custody of their 11-year-old daughter, Hannah, citing Kate’s “cruelty” towards the girl. Allegedly, Hanna opened up to her father about her relationship with her mother and claimed that she felt forced into filming new episodes of the spinoff series, Kate Plus 8.

His ex-wife has had primary custody of the children, sextuplets Alexis, Hannah, Aaden, Collin, Leah, and Joel, plus twins Cara and Madelyn, 15, since their divorce.  Courts generally only make significant changes if the non-custodial parent is able to provide ample proof of their claims, especially, if it involves splitting up siblings.

New York City divorce law firm, Berkman, Bottger, Newman & Rodd told Yahoo Parenting: “You have to remember this is an 11-year-old girl. She may find it to be cruel if Kate took away her cell phone.” They also added: “If the court uses reasoning that ultimately decides it’s not in the best interests of the children to be filmed, that standard could be applied to all of the other children as well. And if it’s proven that Kate is being cruel to the kids, every one of them is game for a custody change.”

It’s unclear what Jon would do if Kate’s “cruelty” is proven in court and he is awarded all of his children. He has struggled to meet his own basic needs whereas Kate has been able to provide for all eight children for the past six years. His lawyer, Kristen Doleva told E! News: “Jon’s priority is what is best for the kids” and that he plans to “fight for them.”

Psychiatric Concerns?

Back in February, Jon sat down for an interview with E! News and said: “I want temporary primary custody until Kate goes on a psychiatric evaluation.” He claimed to be concerned about leaving them in her care because he believes she “instills fear” and “controls” their kids.

He has alleged that, in an attempt to maintain a certain lifestyle, she uses the children “as her props” and believes it is unfair to them. If Hannah really is unhappy about having to film more episodes of the show, Jon can say he has gone on record in the past about this exact situation.

Is He Jealous?

Some people are questioning the timing of this custody battle and have accused Jon of being jealous of his ex-wife’s new relationship. Largely single since the divorce, it finally looks like Kate is in a committed relationship with millionaire businessman, Jeff Prescott. Over the past few months, the pair have been seen with increasing frequency.

Prescott, a divorced father of three, is the co-founder of internet-based image stockpiler, Dreamstime. He also serves as president of the Deaf Children’s Foundation, Octagon Sports Nutrition and Nature’s Youth Fit Kids Foundation.

At the end of the day, there are eight children depending on Jon and Kate to provide them with a stable upbringing so, hopefully, all of their needs and concerns can be met in order for them to be happy and healthy. If the courts have to get involved, so be it, but it would be nice if these parents could put their differences aside for once and resolve their issues privately, for the sake of everyone involved.

Jon Gosselin Cites “Cruelty,” Seeks Custody of One of Eight Children

Jeanne Croteau

Jeanne has been a celebrity blogger for eight years and also teaches psychology at the college level. In addition to her passion for mental health, she is an avid reader, hockey fan and mother of four.

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APA Reference
Croteau, J. (2015). Jon Gosselin Cites “Cruelty,” Seeks Custody of One of Eight Children. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 8, 2020, from


Last updated: 21 May 2015
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