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Gosselin divorce could be finalized soon

The couple met for more than six hours Saturday at a law office in the Philadelphia suburbs to discuss unresolved issues, including custody of their eight children and the distribution of marital property.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Jon Gosselin offered his estranged wife a bouquet of red roses at their divorce arbitration hearing over the weekend. She evidently turned them down. Despite the snub, the marathon session went so well that the feuding stars of “Jon & Kate Plus 8” could be divorced by the end of the year, his attorney said Monday.

According to Mark Heller, “Jon impressively put the best interests of his children above all and was extremely appropriate in his approach to the mediation. As a result of that, it came to a successful resolution.”

The reality series that turned the Gosselins into celebrities came to its own resolution Monday night as cable’s TLC aired the finale of “Jon & Kate Plus 8.”

But Kate Gosselin called the series’ end “needless. It’s useless, it’s totally avoidable. ... This is a very bittersweet goodbye for me because the kids are already missing it.”

In a separate response, Jon Gosselin told the camera, “Our marriage fell apart and I felt like I was free. And I kinda took advantage of it for a while and didn’t really think about my actions, obviously, until I started getting paparazzi and written about. But that’s maturing. That’s growing up.”

The show came to a somewhat abrupt close in the wake of squabbling and scandals that not only tainted the show’s previously wholesome atmosphere, but also halted any filming of the children several weeks ago.

During the series’ final hour, the young twins and sextuplets toured a fire station with their dad near the family home in Wernersville, Pa. Then, with Kate, they visited a local dairy farm, for what she emotionally noted was the series’ last shoot.

Those were the sort of heartwarming activities that had won “Jon & Kate” a devoted following when it premiered two years ago. But the show fell apart after the Gosselins announced their split in June and became battling tabloid fixtures.

A plan announced by TLC early this fall called for “Jon & Kate Plus 8” to segue into “Kate Plus Eight,” a series that would have concentrated on the kids and their newly single mom, with Jon Gosselin taking a much-reduced role. But that plan was apparently torpedoed by his objections to having the children displayed on TV any longer. They have not been filmed since.

On Saturday, the couple met for more than six hours at a law office in the Philadelphia suburbs to discuss unresolved marital issues, including custody of their eight children and the distribution of marital property. Heller said an arbitrator will rule by Christmas and that the divorce could be finalized by the close of 2009.

Heller declined to comment on the terms of the divorce.

As for the roses?

Heller said his client brought them “as a peace offering to try to melt down the freeze that he perceives to be coming from the other side.”

There was no comment Monday from the attorney for Kate Gosselin.

And as for her television future in lieu of “Kate Plus Eight,” TLC has said it is now focusing on the launch of a series in which she would star, scheduled to premiere next spring. The network has offered no details on what kind of show it might be.