Child custody cases take a heavy toll on everyone involved. Even the most amicable arrangements become a struggle for those stuck in the middle. When these cases become battlegrounds that entail drama, animosity, and international laws, they can turn into a years-long tragedy for both the parents and the children. Kelly Rutherford’s prolonged legal fight for parental rights is one extreme example of a custody battle in its most unfortunate circumstances.
A Custody Battle Across Two Continents
You may recognize actress Kelly Rutherford from her role in television drama “Gossip Girl.” Her personal drama began six years ago, in 2009, when she filed for divorce from her husband Daniel Giersch. Both parents sought full custody of their two children. In the years that followed, accusations of denied contact, harassment, and even criminal activity came from both sides of the dispute. During this time, Giersch’s business visa was revoked, and he lost the legal ability to live in the United States.
In 2012, Giersch took his children to France. He was given full custody, as a judge decided France offered the best possibility of equal parenting time for both Rutherford and Giersch. However, the court also decided to revisit the decision in two years, to reassess if Giersch could reenter the United States.
Complexity of Multiple Jurisdictions
It was after this period that the case took its most dramatic turns. Rutherford was given custody of her children in New York City for two months. She argued the courts could not send them back to France after this time, but a judge disagreed. They returned to France with their father. Kelly Rutherford moved her case to California, where a judge in Los Angeles ruled the state did not have jurisdiction over the case. The children had not spent enough time in California for a judge to consider it their home state.
The children now live in Monaco with their father awaiting a date in Monaco’s Family Court. A swift resolution to this case seems unlikely. Both Kelly Rutherford and Daniel Giersch have fully invested themselves in the fight to retain custody of their children, and the longer the children spend in Monaco, the more difficult it will be to tear them away from the life they have become accustomed to.
The Difficulties of International Custody Battles
As the world grows more mobile, more custody cases span multiple states or even multiple countries. These cases require family law attorneys who understand the intricacies of international custody laws. It is important to have these cases tried in the appropriate state or country that will serve the best interests of the children, as well as treat both parents fairly.
It is important to obtain legal counsel if you become involved in a custody battle. A good lawyer can help you navigate the complicated systems involved in retaining guardianship of your children. This is especially important if your situation crosses over state or country lines. Kenny Leigh & Associates has the knowledge and experience you need to assure your rights are respected, and the best interests of your family are served.