Even the most amicable of divorcing couples often have to deal with disagreements over custody issues, and unfortunately, children often get used as both pawns and weapons during and after the divorce. In one such example that has made national news several times over the past years, actress Kelly Rutherford was locked in an ongoing custody battle with her ex-husband after the courts allowed him to take the kids to live overseas in Monaco.
The custody battle began when the couple divorced six years ago, but international custody issues became a problem in 2009 when the children’s father had his U.S. visa revoked. He is officially a German citizen but has been living in Monaco with the children for several years. When the courts decided that the children’s father would be allowed to keep them overseas, Rutherford took to the media to plead her case. She even managed to get a White House petition together with approximately 118,000 signatures — more than the 100,000 needed to get an official response.
On March 22, however, a judge in California ordered that temporary custody of the children be returned to Rutherford and that the children be brought back to the United States. Even though this appears to be a positive for Rutherford, a temporary custody order is just that, and if the children’ father decides to fight the order, there could be more legal action seen in this case.
Custody battles are notorious for being drawn out and pitting the two parties against each other, with each one believing he or she knows what is best for the children. Even after custody appears to be settled, the other party almost always has the right to petition the courts to change the order at any time, meaning all involved should always be prepared with legal counsel.
Source: The Washington Post, “Actress Kelly Rutherford wins temporary custody of her two children,” Helena Andrews, May. 26, 2015