Jon Gosselin Says He Was Awarded Sole Custody of Son Collin: 'He Wanted to Live with Me'

Collin, 14, is currently enrolled in a program for children with special needs

Jon Gosselin says he has been awarded temporary sole custody of his teenage son Collin.

For over two years, Collin has been living away from his family in a program for children with special needs. Jon’s ex-wife Kate Gosselin previously told PEOPLE that she made the difficult decision to enroll her son in the program in order to help him reach his full potential.

When Collin leaves the program later this year, he will live with Jon.

“It was just easier for the transition,” he told reporters at WE tv’s Real Love: Relationship Reality TV’s Past, Present & Future panel on Tuesday in Los Angeles. “So it’d be easier for one parent to just transition him home, and he wanted to live with me, so it was easier to do it that way.”

“I’m excited to have a male around,” he added. “I’m surrounded by females.”

Tom Briglia/FilmMagic

PEOPLE confirmed in November that Jon and his attorney submitted papers to a Pennsylvania court on Oct. 24 requesting that Collin live with him, a decision he claims would be in Collin’s “best interest.” In November, Kate and her lawyer reportedly did not show up to court after her request to postpone the hearing was denied.

Reps for Jon and Kate have not responded to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Collin is one of Jon and Kate’s 14-year-old sextuplets — along with Alexis, Leah, Hannah, Joel and Aaden. The exes also share 18-year-old twins Mady and Cara.

At the WE tv event, Jon also said Hannah lives with him “full time.”

“Hannah lives with me full time, and then Collin,” he said. “Leah, Alexis, Joel and Aaden, they’re with their mom, and then the twins are 18, so they’re adults.”

Jon Gosselin/Instagram

And while Jon said his relationship with Collin and Hannah is strong, he’s not in communication with his other children.

“The other four aren’t talking to me, but they’re talking to Hannah,” he said. “It’s what the kids want to do. If they don’t want to talk to me, that’s fine, as long as they keep up with their sibling connections.”

He also doesn’t communicate with Kate: “It’s too much right now,” he said.

Though he wished them a happy birthday via Instagram in October, Jon remains estranged from the twins. In 2016, Mady and Cara told PEOPLE that they weren’t speaking to their father, who had given interviews to some media outlets about their strained relationship.

“He makes it seem like we’re being kept from him, which is insane,” Mady said. “He should maybe spend some time thinking about why we don’t want to see him, and maybe realize that if he ever does want a relationship with us, talking about us on TV is not the way to make that happen.”

“He doesn’t even know us,” she added. “How can he dare to talk about us?”

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