Minnesota residents might have heard about the lengthy child custody dispute between ‘Gossip Girl” actress Kelly Rutherford and her ex-husband Daniel Giersch. The 46-year-old actress has been trying to get a judge to order her two children returned to the United States for the past few years. In 2012, a judge in California ruled that Rutherford’s 8-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter should remain in Europe with their father until his visa problems were resolved.
Before the judge’s order in 2012, Rutherford and Giersch were sharing joint custody. However, things changed when Giersch was denied entry to the United States, and a judge made the decision to award him physical custody. Although Rutherford has fought to regain custody, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled on July 23 that the state of California no longer has jurisdiction in the case.
According to the chief legal analyst for ABC News, the custody battle between Rutherford and Giersch is unique in that the children were sent to live with a parent who was refused access to the U.S. He said that Rutherford may be able to appeal the recent ruling but that there is no legal precedent for this type of case.
Child custody disputes that involve parents who are living in two different countries are very complex. Determining which court has jurisdiction and facilitating communication between the two different locations can be challenging. A parent who is going through an international child custody dispute may want to have assistance from an attorney who is familiar with these types of matters.
Source: ABC News, “Judge Rules Kelly Rutherford’s Custody Battle Can’t Continue in California,” Michael Rothman and Lesley Messer, July 23, 2015