After more than three years, the custody battle between Daniel Giersch and actress Kelly Rutherford has come to a close. The couple has been involved in a heated custody dispute over their two children, now ages 6 and 9, since their divorce in 2012. At that time, Giersch had to return to Europe after there was an issue with his visa, and the judge in the case ruled the children could go to live with him since he would not be able to travel to the United States to see them.
The parents continued to disagree over the custody arrangement, however, with both sides accusing the other of parental alienation and making it difficult to have the court-ordered access to the children. The case came to a head earlier this year after the children had been in the United States to spend their summer vacation with their mother. At the end of the court-ordered visitation time, Rutherford refused to return the children.
It appears she had hoped that the U.S. courts would grant her custody of the children and allow them to come live with her again, but because she had moved from her original state of residence, the U.S. courts refused jurisdiction, officially sending the case to Monaco where the children have been living for the past few years.
The Monaco courts sealed their jurisdiction after they awarded Giersch full custody of the children and limited the actress’ visitation with the kids to Monaco or France. It is believed that the actress’ refusal to return the children earlier this year weighed heavily in this decision because she proved she could not be trusted to abide by the court order.
This very long and complicated case is a good example of everything that can happen when you are dealing with international custody cases. It also shows why it is important to always abide by the standing court orders and go through your lawyer to make and file for a modification.
Source: Cambridge Times, “Kelly Rutherford will ‘do better’,” Dec. 16, 2015
Laughlin & Company Lawyers Mediators
2755 Lougheed Hwy #710, Port Coquitlam, BC V3B 5Y9