After three years of court battles and allegations of parental kidnapping, the custody fight between actress Kelly Rutherford and Daniel Giersch is over. The Monaco courts awarded Giersch full custody of the children and limited the actress's visits to the countries of France and Monaco. Giersch and the two children have been living for the last few years in Monaco. Rutherford will be able to see the children at certain times outlined in the court order, including the Christmas holidays this year.
The latest episode in the highly publicized custody saga came earlier this year, when Rutherford brought the children to the United States to have their summer vacation with her. Shortly after this, Rutherford lost two important court decisions, in which the New York and California courts both said they did not have jurisdiction over the case, which meant the Monaco courts would now take precedence.
In response to this, the actress twice defied a court order to return the children to their father. It was this decision was likely responsible for the traveling ban opposed on Rutherford by the Monaco courts. Rutherford still had one appeal pending, but it was denied just a few days after the Monaco court's ruling. The actress will retain her parental rights, however, and still be responsible for making joint decisions with her ex as far as the children's upbringing and medical care. She was also awarded a monthly stipend to help her afford the international visitations.
As shown here, international custody battles can take years to be settled. If you are going through a similar situation now or are thinking about moving out of the country and wondering how it will affect your custody arrangement, it's important to talk with an attorney.
Source: People, "Kelly Rutherford Will Be Able to See Her Children for Christmas – as U.S. Court Rejects Her Final Appeal," Lindsay Kimble, Dec. 17, 2015