Michigan residents may be interested to learn that a federal court has denied "Gossip Girl" star Kelly Rutherford's request for her two young children to be returned to the United States. Her son, age 8, and daughter, age 5, are currently living with her ex-husband in France and are the subject of an unusual custody battle.
Her ex-husband, a native of Germany, was denied reentry into the U.S. after taking the children abroad six years ago. In response, a California court ordered the children, who are American citizens, to live with their father in France. Rutherford, 45, must repeatedly travel to Europe in order to see her children and has been forced into bankruptcy due to the extensive legal costs involved in the custody battle.
In the case Rutherford brought before the federal court, she claimed the constitutional rights of her American children were being violated by forcing them to remain in France. However, the court dismissed her argument by stating that the children are still American citizens and have not been deported. Rutherford's lawyer called the case "unprecedented" and said her client will not give up her custody fight. The California court ordered Rutherford's ex-husband to apply for a new visa that would allow his reentry into the U.S. However, the State Department reports that he has not turned in a new application.
Child custody disputes can be complex and emotional, especially in cases where one parent is moving to another state or country. Any parent attempting to modify the terms of a child custody order may benefit by obtaining the advice and counsel of an attorney in order to determine the best way to proceed.
Source: Fox News, "'Gossip Girl' actress Kelly Rutherford speaks after losing custody ruling," April 15, 2015