Lawyer says Jon and Kate Gosselin divorce could be finalized by end of year

The Associated Press ~ staff The News
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ALLENTOWN, Pa. - 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 Eight" could be divorced by the end of the year, his attorney said Monday.
"Although there were many emotional moments throughout the process, Jon impressively put the best interests of his children above all and was extremely appropriate in his approach to the mediation," Mark Heller said. "As a result of that, it came to a successful resolution."
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.
Heller said a second day of arbitration planned for Monday was no longer needed. He 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."
Kate Gosselin's attorney had no immediate comment Monday.
The popular TLC series ends its run Monday night. It won a devoted following with its heartwarming look at the lives of a Pennsylvania couple raising twins and sextuplets. But the show fell apart after the Gosselins announced their split in June, and the couple's acrimonious divorce has made them tabloid fixtures.

Geographic location: ALLENTOWN, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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