Jon Gosselin Wants Temporary Custody of Kids, Psych Eval for Kate

By Jenny Tsay, Esq. on February 04, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Jon Gosselin, formerly of "Jon & Kate Plus Eight," wants temporary custody of his children. He also wants his ex-wife Kate Gosselin to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

In an interview with E! News, Jon claims that Kate is "instilling fear" to "control" their eight kids. Jon Gossein's comments come just two weeks after Kate and the couple's two oldest children appeared in a People magazine cover story.

So what will Jon need to do to get a court-ordered change of custody for his kids and a psychiatric evaluation for Kate?

Getting Temporary Custody

Besides being known for their large family, Jon and Kate Gosselin are also known for having a very public and contentious divorce. In this case, Jon says he wants to ask the court for temporary primary custody of his kids until Kate gets a psychiatric evaluation.

As both Kate and Jon apparently still live in Pennsylvania, Jon will have to file his motions in a Pennsylvania family court. It's not clear from his interview if he's done so.

One way for Jon to get emergency custody in Pennsylvania is to file a Petition for Emergency Relief. But he will have to list specific reasons to ask for temporary custody; successful petitions typically assert that the children are at risk of immediate physical danger. Depending on the exact details, Kate allegedly "instilling fear" in the couple's kids may not be enough.

After the petition is filed, a hearing will be scheduled where a judge will hear each party's arguments and determine whether or not to grant the order. The judge will focus on the best interests of the children.

Is a Psychiatric Evaluation Warranted?

Jon also says he wants Kate to undergo a psychiatric evaluation, the process for which can vary by state. For example, in neighboring Ohio, a psychological assessment as part of a custody evaluation must be ordered by a judge. An independent forensic psychologist will conduct an interview and diagnostic test and then prepare a report for the court and the parties. The judge will then use the report to determine custody.

In Jon's case, if he follows through with his call for a psychiatric evaluation for Kate, he'll have to convince a court that there's a legitimate reason for doing so. Again, the court will consider arguments by both sides, so Jon won't be able to use the evaulation threat solely as a means to potentially harass his ex-wife.

Jon Gosselin's full E! News interview airs Tuesday night. It follows recent TV appearances by Kate Gosselin which coincided with her profile piece in People.

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