California parents may be interested to learn that Jon and Kate Gosselin of the former TV show "Jon & Kate Plus 8" are reportedly involved in a custody dispute over one of the couple's 11-year-old daughters. Kate Gosselin has had primary custody of the couple's eight children for six years, and they appear with her on the TLC reality show "Kate Plus 8." Allegedly, one of the girl's claims is that her mother forces her to appear on the show. Jon Gosselin reports that he and his ex-wife do not have a good relationship.
However, experts say it may be difficult for him to prevail. Generally, a change in material circumstances is required, and the burden of proof of those circumstances will fall on Jon Gosselin as the noncustodial parent. Courts will consider the best interests of the child and weigh factors such as the child's relationship with parents and siblings.
The stability of the parents will be considered as well. Gosselin, who has worked as a waiter and a DJ, was evicted from his home in October. The court may consider whether his DJ position allows him to be home with the child as much as he should be. If the court does decide that the girl should be removed from her mother's care, it may have implications for the siblings.
Individuals who wish to change child custody arrangements may be able to do so by negotiating with the other parent. For example, two parents who have a functional co-parenting relationship in which one parent has primary custody of three children may decide that one of the children will do better spending more time with the other parent based on that child's wishes and other circumstances. A parent in this situation may wish to obtain the assistance of a family law attorney in preparing a motion to modify the existing custody order.