The yearslong custody battle between embattled exes Jon and Kate Gosselin had a new development on Tuesday, as Jon was reportedly granted temporary sole legal and physical custody of the former couple’s son, Collin Gosselin. Per E! News, the decision was handed down after Kate failed to appear at the scheduled custody hearing in Reading, Pennsylvania.
Us Weekly reports that Kate had requested the hearing be postponed the day before, but that request had not been granted.
Since divorcing in 2009 after 10 years of marriage, Jon and Kate have shared custody of their sextuplets — Collin, Hannah, Leah, Alexis, Joel and Aaden — along with their older twins Mady and Cara. However, Jon has contended repeatedly in the past that their current custody agreement doesn’t give him enough time with the kids.
Accordingly, Jon has reportedly been fighting for primary custody for several years. In October, he filed for full legal and physical custody of Collin, who has been living at an out-of-state treatment facility for children with special needs since 2016.
“Collin has special needs. [There’s] a fairly fluid diagnosis of what those needs are, but he needs to learn certain strategies to help him deal with things,” Kate told People in 2016. “This has been a struggle we’ve had for a very long time, and it’s one I’ve dealt with on my own. I’ve felt very alone in this. By the same token, it’s not something that has only impacted me or him — our entire family has been impacted.”
Of the decision to send Collin to the out-of-state education program, Kate said at the time he was “where he needs to be right now, and I can feel good about that.”
In 2015, Jon began pursuing full custody of daughter Hannah, who he claims has been living with him for the past year. In August, he posted an Instagram celebrating her first day of school separate from her siblings, praising her “bravery” and “dedication.”
Earlier in the year, Jon shared a photo of himself alongside Hannah and Collin at Collin’s facility for children with special needs. The trio was celebrating Collin’s 14th birthday.
And in November, Collin visited his dad’s home in Reading. “Collin came up for the weekend,” Jon told E! News afterward. “It was his first visit in three years. He stayed with me.”
The custody battle between Jon and Kate over their children has been acrimonious, to say the least. In August 2017, police got involved several times — including once in a parking lot where Kate reportedly got physical with Hannah, who was refusing to leave her father. In 2015, Kate allegedly hired a private investigator to track Jon’s moves, citing “suspicious behavior” on the part of her ex-husband. She has also accused her ex of “kidnapping” their daughter and alleged he was using his business as a DJ as a front to sell narcotics.
According to HollywoodLife, Jon is “really happy” with the outcome of Tuesday’s custody proceeding.
“Jon has been incredibly dedicated to his son. His efforts have paid off because when Collin was home for his weekend visit there was clearly a very strong bond between father and son,” a source told the outlet. “Jon, Collin and Hannah make a great little family unit.”