Robert G. Smith, PLLC

Jon Gosselin wants custody of his daughter

As some New York residents may know, the former reality show star Jon Gosselin said he wants a change in his child custody arrangement. Since their divorce in 2009, his ex-wife has had custody of the couple's eight children. Modifying a custody arrangement in this fashion requires evidence that the child would benefit from a change in custody and that overall circumstances have changed.

The 38-year-old father said his daughter, 11, asked him not to return her to her mother after a visit to her father's home. He explained that the child said she no longer wished to perform on her mother's show, "Kate Plus 8." When the child custody order was initially issued by the court, the parents were estranged and not on good terms. Now, according to both parents, the relationship between them has further deteriorated.

Modifications to existing child custody orders usually can only be made if circumstances have changed since its issuance. The noncustodial parent must supply proof that the terms of the existing order have become detrimental to the child and that a change would be in the child's best interests. Mr. Gosselin's requested change would separate his daughter from her siblings, something the courts traditionally do not like to do. Further, his ability to provide a stable home for her might be questioned.

Changing a child custody arrangement may be complex and, as in this case, a parent must demonstrate to the court that it would benefit the child. Consulting with an attorney may be beneficial if this is a consideration. The attorney may help in filing a petition with the court that would allow additional parental visitation.

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