Jon and Kate Gosselin’s Custody Case: What Large Families Can Learn From Reality TV Drama

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Once the epitome of television-based marital bliss, Jon and Kate Gosselin ultimately succumbed to the pressures of raising eight children and putting their complicated lives in the public eye. Their ensuing split was incredibly messy, and the same can arguably be said for their post-divorce lives. Fortunately, other couples need not succumb to the bitterness of Jon and Kate Gosselin’s divorce.
Child Support
Although fans of Jon & Kate Plus 8 had little sympathy for Jon Gosselin when they learned of his alleged affair, a few did find his child support requirements unreasonable. At the time, reports indicated that Gosselin was required to pay a whopping $22,000 in child support. This figure was likely determined, in part, by Gosselin’s prior success on reality television, but also by the sheer number of kids he was required to support.
In the years following his divorce, Gosselin hopped from job to job and struggled to make ends meet. His financial downfall is one that other parents with several children find relatable, although the financial burden on the noncustodial parent differs greatly from one state to the next.
In Texas, there is a cap on the level of monthly income on which noncustodial parents must pay child support. If monthly resources for the obligor do not exceed $6,000, forty percent of net resources are used to support families with five or more children. This figure may be adjusted somewhat for noncustodial parents who also support children from other relationships.

Alternative Financial Arrangements
Once it became abundantly clear that Jon Gosselin would not be able to afford his monthly child support payments, he was able to arrive at an alternative arrangement. He has since explained to Entertainment Tonight’s Brooke Anderson that he pays no child support, but that he also has no relationship with Kate. Instead, his ex handles school and other large expenses, while he pays for food and housing whenever he takes care of the kids. Although not inconceivable, such arrangements are rare, especially as most custodial parents are not able to turn to ongoing reality television earnings in times of need.

Ongoing Custody Battles
Although it was always assumed that Kate Gosselin would have primary custody of the children, this was called into question in May 2015, when rumors regarding Hannah Gosselin’s desire to live with her dad surfaced. At the time, Jon Gosselin was believed to be in pursuit of primary custody.
Few updates have since surfaced, but this is a potential issue that other parents in large families must address — what happens if one or more children no longer want to live with the custodial parent? Additionally, while in the midst of the divorce process, it is important for noncustodial parents to fight for sufficient visitation time with all children. Otherwise, many may face a dilemma Gosselin revealed while chatting with Steve Harvey: he hasn’t seen one of his sons for over a year, and he hasn’t seen all of his kids together in three years.
Fellow divorcees with large families will be looking on with interest as Jon and Kate Gosselin continue to sort through this and other ongoing custody and support issues.