Although a California judge ordered Daniel Giersch, the ex-husband of actress Kelly Rutherford, to bring their children to the state for a custody hearing on June 15, another judge has halted the order. Some claim that the issue is whether California or Monaco has jurisdiction over the case.
Rutherford and Giersch married in 2006 and divorced in 2008. Although they were sharing joint custody, in 2012, Giersch’s visa to remain in the United States was revoked. At that time, a judge ruled that the children could live with him in France and Monaco. Rutherford has been trying to bring the children back to live in the United States since then.
On May 22, 2014, a judge in Los Angeles granted Rutherford temporary sole custody, but Giersch alleges that Rutherford made fraudulent statements during that appearance. According to Rutherford’s attorney, the halt in the case only allows a hearing to occur for Giersch but does not grant Monaco jurisdiction because Giersch is not a citizen of Monaco.
Whether or not international borders or even different locations are involved, child custody can be a contentious issue between divorced parents. In some cases, parents who have an amicable relationship may agree on custody, but it is still best to have a court order incorporating it. This protects the parents and children if one parent does not hold up their end of the agreement or if one parent wishes to make a change. An attorney might assist with negotiation or mediation as well as litigation if the parents cannot come to an agreement among themselves. When a parent is faced with visa issues, custody and visitation disputes may become even more complex. A court will make its custody decision based on what is believed to be the best interests of the child.