JON and Kate Gosselin’s bitter 11-year custody battle is finally over, the former reality star has claimed.
In an exclusive interview, Jon told The Sun: “There is no custody battle – it’s done.”
The divorced couple has eight children altogether – with two of their 15-year-old sextuplets Collin and Hannah living with Jon, four living with Kate and two older children Mady and Cara, 19, living away at college.
They have been embroiled in a vicious court battle for custody since their 2009 divorce but now their sextuplets, who all starred in TLC’s Jon and Kate Plus Eight, are allowed to decide which parent they wish to live with.
“It’s like chickens, it’s free range now. You can do whatever you want and there’s nothing we could say,” Jon, 43, explained.
“If Hannah just said, ‘I’m going to go live with mom’, there’s nothing that I could say. I could ask her why, but I can’t physically stop her.
“There’s a guardian ad litem. She would technically just call the guardian ad litem, which is kind of like a child advocate attorney for the court, and say, ‘Hey, I’m going to go live with mom.’
“Guardian would say, ‘Okay.’ And she would just report to the judge ‘Hannah’s going to live with mom’ and that’s it. And vice versa.”
Jon, who has previously claimed Kate “mentally tortured” their sextuplets and secretly had son Collin admitted to an institution – claims she has denied – said he’s finally at peace with the situation and will support his children no matter what they decide.
Back in October he filed a petition for contempt against Kate, claiming she filmed the four children she has custody of – Leah, Alexis, Joel and Aaden – without his consent for an episode of Kate Plus 8 on TLC.
The Sun exclusively reported she then filed a counterclaim against him, accusing him of continuing to publicly embarrass her and “tarnish” her reputation, and blamed him for TLC’s cancellation of her show.
Jon said the pandemic has closed court in his local Pennsylvania court – forcing he and Kate to take a break from the constant legal wrangling – and he hopes their court days are finally over.
“As of right now, court has been pushed back so much,” he said.
“Who knows when we’ll have another court date, I don’t even think we’re going to court.
“It’s all other stuff now because custody was left up to the kids anyway, so it’s really up to the kids to see each other, moving down the road.
“So right now I’m just kind of focused on my family and going to work.”
However the divorced couple are still not on speaking terms – and probably never will be, Jon said.
“I don’t speak to my ex-wife. The last time I spoke to her is when I went to court, I think that was in September.
“But we don’t speak in any kind of terms, so there is no relationship. There’s no wavering or anything either. I’ve been divorced longer than I’ve been married, so it’s in the past.
“It is what it is, you know, we’ve got to try to get through. The kids will all be 18 in less than three years. So, we’ll move past that and that’s it.
“I think the saga and the legacy or whatever is over, there’s no more Jon and Kate, there’s no more Kate Plus Eight.
“Hopefully TLC is out of the picture. Let’s just get the kids’ finances in order and let them move on to adulthood.
“Just get them through high school and let’s get through this pandemic and deal with what comes down the road.”
It’s been 11 years since Jon and Kate divorced – and Jon has been in a happy relationship with girlfriend Colleen, a nurse, for six years.
But he says he’s no closer to having an amicable co-parenting relationship with his ex.
“It’s just never going to happen,” he said.
“So I’m not going to waste my time going down the same old broken road – and that’s not a Jason Aldean comment!
“I’m not just going to keep on going after something that’s never going to happen.
“So I’m going to have to deal with what I have now and who lives with me now and hope for the best for the other kids, whether they come live with me or not or visit, I’m just going to take that day at a time.
“I’m going to focus Hannah and Collin and their futures because they’re in my house now and be the best parent I can for them.”
While he hasn’t spoken to the children who live with Kate, he says he loves all his children.
He says Kate has not tried to contact Hannah or Collin – but he wouldn’t stand in her way if she did.
For now he said one of his biggest hopes is that the kids will start therapy and mend their relationships with each other.
And he says his door is always open to his other four children and he bears them no ill will.
“I love them and there’s an open door always and they know where I live, do what you want,” Jon said.
“I think Hannah has expressed that to them as well. There’s no ill will so you know, no one’s going to hold down anyone against their will.
“I believe they all miss their siblings as well. So it would make me happy if they could see each other and be together and enjoy their lives togethers as siblings. I’m not going to stand in their way.”
He added: “Everyone’s quarantined so they can’t see each other either cause there’s two separate households,” he said.
“So Hannah and Collin live with me, they go to different schools, even though we only live two miles from mom and the other four kids.
“After this is all over, hopefully, they can see each other again or whatever is going to transpire.
“They’ll all be 16, and my kids will hopefully safely get their license and figure all that stuff out.
“You know, I love all my kids, so hopefully, all those things will pan out.”
And when asked about his current feelings towards his ex, he said: “Do I hate Kate? I don’t even think about it anymore. Honestly it doesn’t matter anymore.
“She’s still the mother of my children… I got married, we had our twins, and then we had our six. And of course I wouldn’t have married someone if I didn’t love her.
“That’s so long ago. I got married so young and now I look at, I’m 43, I got married at 22 I look at a 2- year-old now and I’m like: ‘Don’t get married. Just wait, ride it out. Think about things’…”
And now the custody battle is over, Jon adds: “It’s just odd to keep on going back to court to fight for things that don’t even matter. You know? It’s like ‘It’s over’. So what’s the point?”
The Sun reached out to Kate and her attorney for comment but they did not respond.
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