Pennsylvania residents may have heard that a California court has ordered the ex-husband of actress Kelly Rutherford to return the couple's two children to the United States and place them in her custody. The children have been living with her estranged spouse in France for a few years.
Rutherford and her ex-husband, a German native, divorced in 2010 and have been involved in a custody dispute over their two young children ever since. The matter took a complicated turn when her ex-husband took the children abroad for a period of time and then was denied re-entry into the U.S. In 2013, a California court ruled that the children should remain in their father's care while he worked to resolve his visa problem. However, he allegedly refused to seek a new visa and recently petitioned a Monaco court to change the citizenship of the children, who were born in the U.S.
On May 22, Rutherford filed an emergency petition to regain custody of the children. She said she did not notify her ex-husband of the court hearing, citing fears he would kidnap the children. A judge granted the "Melrose Place" and "Gossip Girl" star temporary custody of the children and demanded that they be returned to the U.S. for a hearing on June 15. Rutherford's custody battle has been well-publicized. More than 118,000 people signed an online petition asking the Obama administration to help bring her children back to the U.S.
Child custody disputes can be complicated and emotionally draining for everyone involved. A parent who is concerned that the terms of a custody order may run the risk of being violated by the other parent may benefit by consulting with a family law attorney to determine how to proceed.
Source: CBS News, "Judge orders children returned to Kelly Rutherford in custody fight," May 26, 2015