A recent ruling from the Monaco courts appears to have finally settled the custody battle going on between Kelly Rutherford and Daniel Giersch for the past few years. The children were sent to live with their father in France in 2012 after there was an issue with his visa. Three years after that, earlier this year, both New York and California refused to accept jurisdiction for the case when Rutherford attempted to regain physical custody of the children.
When this happened, Rutherford first refused to return the children to their father in Monaco and then did not have them accompany her to a court appearance as mandated by the judge. These actions resulted in the Monaco courts awarding Giersch full physical custody and limiting Rutherford's visitation to either France or Monaco.
However, Rutherford will still maintain the ability to make decisions with children's father as far as their upbringing, including issues such as religious teaching, education and health care. This is a common set up for parents who live in different countries, as it allows the parents to still take an active role in raising the child even if they cannot physically be there all the time.
This case is just one example of how important it is to follow the court orders pertaining to your case and address any issues or modification requests through the proper legal channels. Taking matters into your own hands will not win you any favor in the family courts and can significantly affect the final outcome of your case. If you have questions about an ongoing custody situation or wish to appeal a court order, talking with a family law attorney is the first step.
Source: ABC News, "Kelly Rutherford Cannot Bring Her Two Children to US, Judge Rules," Lesley Messer, Dec. 16, 2015