New Jersey residents may be aware of the international child custody battle that has been going on between 'Gossip Girl" actress Kelly Rutherford and her ex-husband Daniel Giersch. On May 22, a judge ordered Giersch to return the two children to Rutherford after Rutherford filed an emergency petition claiming that her ex-husband wanted to change the children's citizenship.
In 2010, Rutherford and Giersch were divorced after two years of marriage. After the two ex-spouses fought over custody of their children for three years, a judge allowed Giersch to have the children live with him abroad while he was trying to obtain a United States visa. Rutherford claims that Giersch has violated the 2013 child custody order on numerous occasions since it was issued.
Giersch was not given notice of the recent emergency child custody hearing because Rutherford feared he would kidnap the children had he known of it. A judge at the hearing awarded Rutherford temporary custody of her 6-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son pending another court hearing on June 15. After the court decision was made, the 46-year-old actress thanked her supporters on Twitter. Over 118,000 people have signed an online petition for the return of Giersch and Rutherford's children to the United States.
When a custody dispute involves one parent who is not a U.S. citizen, the dispute can become complicated by foreign laws, travel expenses and visa issues. A parent who is involved in an international child custody dispute may want to seek representation from an attorney who is familiar with these types of cases.
Source: CBS News, "Judge orders children returned to Kelly Rutherford in custody fight," May 26, 2015