Kelly Rutherford loses three-year child custody battle


December 16, 2015

Source: pagesix.com

Former “Gossip Girl” actress Kelly Rutherford, 47, has failed to gain custody of her kids and will only be able to visit them in Monaco and France, according to a report Tuesday.

Kelly Rutherford 2015

Rutherford — who went bankrupt blowing $1.4 million on her bitter divorce from Daniel Giersch — was also awarded a paltry $3,281 a month in maintenance from the German-born businessman, the Daily Mail reported.

The rulings by a judge in Monaco followed a legal brawl that erupted in August, when Rutherford was forced to surrender son Hermes, 9, and daughter Helena, 6, to Giersch’s mom inside a closed New York City courtroom. One of the kids was heard shouting “Mommy!” through the doors before Rutherford emerged, looking distraught.

Kelly Rutherford with children Helena and Hermes, and Rutherford’s ex Daniel Giersch

Giersch — who won primary custody of the kids in 2013 — had accused Rutherford of breaking a promise to send them back to him in Monaco following a summer vacation in America.

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The nightmare that is Kelly Rutherford’s international custody battle


Actress Kelly Rutherford starred as glam-mom Lily van der Woodson on “Gossip Girl,” a delightfully guilty pleasure of a television drama. Lily swanned around Manhattan’s high-end zip codes, unaffected by the roiling, soapy family crises that were the show’s stock-in-trade.

But Rutherford’s recent star turn in a high-profile, protracted child custody dispute has filled television screens with a different image: that of a suffering mother grimly departing a downtown courthouse following another setback in her bid to persuade a judge to return her two young children, Hermes and Helena, from their father, Daniel Geirsch, in Monaco.

The actress has every right to look grim: International child custody disputes are among the most complicated, excruciatingly difficult battles parents and family lawyers can face.

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These disputes are a consequence of a more mobile, global era, and their numbers are on the rise. “We’re seeing more and more international custody fights,” says James McLaren, president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, who practices at McLaren & Lee in Columbia, South Carolina. “And people who don’t have significant means have no ability to fight them out.”

The Rutherford battle offers a glimpse into the complex issues at stake in a global custody war where at least one parent can afford to pursue a resolution in court.

1. Which court, in which country, should even take the case?

In the Rutherford-Geirsch matter, at least three jurisdictions have weighed in:

  • California, which originally issued a ruling that sent the children to their dad in Monaco, and, earlier this year, awarded Rutherford temporary custody, has decided it lacks the authority to deal with this case anymore;
  • New York, where Rutherford tried, unsuccessfully, to have her case heard; and
  • Monaco, where the couple is set to appear for a custody hearing next month.

Rutherford’s decision to move from California to New York seems, in retrospect, a tactical error, says McLaren. Under U.S. child custody law, a California court could be expected to opt out once the family left the state. And clearly the New York judge didn’t see enough state ties to the case to pick it up. These cases “open a lot of options of where you can litigate, and if you trip, you can be out of the game,” he says.

2. What if parents don’t play by the rules?

Rutherford made international headlines in early August when she decided not to return the children to their dad. She’s hardly alone: In 2013, according to State Department data, U.S. courts heard 364 international parental abduction cases about children taken from home and brought to the U.S.

When one parent moves children or refuses to send them back, more than 100 countries (including the U.S. and Monaco) follow the protocols of the Hague Child Abduction treaty, which generally encourages the speedy return of children. That treaty is probably what persuaded a New York judge to order Rutherford to return the children to Monaco.

“These treaties are meant to help avoid multiple courts ruling on the same matter, and to prevent parents from forum shopping,” which is how lawyers describe looking for a judge most likely to decide in that parent’s favor, says Melissa Kucinski, a family lawyer and mediator in Washington, D.C. with experience in Hague cases.

3. Which parent will prevail?

Assuming that Monaco is the setting for an eventual decision on custody, how might a judge there rule on this long-running fight? This, of course, is the dramatic heart of the matter and may be the most complicated question yet.

The court will likely examine a host of factors, aiming for a result that puts children first. While Monaco would apply its own custody law to the case, its decision-making could include hearing from a parade of experts: immigration experts, experts on attachment, and on schools.

kelly2

Here is where Rutherford might argue that the children belong in the U.S. because they are citizens and deserve a closer connection to its culture. Giersch can counter, saying that the children are acclimated to Monaco and shouldn’t be forced to move. And as the children age, they may get a chance to participate in these decisions, if Monaco laws allow.

In general, “the longer the amount of time [they live in one place], the more likely the child will object to returning” from a home country, says Kucinski. “And the older the child, the more likely his or her views will be solicited.”

As years pass, and courts take their time to rule, a parent left behind, like Rutherford, can stand at a legal disadvantage, according to James McLaren. This dispute, in its sixth year and likely to drag on, stands as an object lesson in the high cost of heading to court. Says McLaren: “I always tell people: Think long and hard before a custody fight. You don’t know what’s going to happen. I’ve never met a happy litigant – and that’s true even when they win.”

Kelly Loses Her Kids: Angry Judge Orders Rutherford’s Children be Returned to Monaco Immediately


August 11, 2015

Source: People.com by MICHELE CORRISTON AND AURELIE CORINTHIOS

Kelly Rutherford‘s children are on their way back to Monaco with their paternal grandmother after a New York Supreme Court judge upheld the custody order Tuesday.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 19.18.41
The actress appeared in court this morning to face the consequences of refusing to send her children back to Monaco on Friday.

Wearing a crisp white shirt and pants and a cream cardigan wrapped across her shoulders, Rutherford looked somber as she entered the courtroom alone – she initially did not bring her children, a move that angered the judge on the case.

Rutherford was required to appear in court with son Hermes, 8, and daughter Helena, 6, after a New York Supreme Court judge signed a writ of habeas corpus on Monday filed by Rutherford’s ex-husband Daniel Giersch.

At the start of the hearing, Rutherford’s lawyer told Judge Ellen Frances Gesmer that the children are “close by, maybe 10 minutes away,” to protect them from the “media circus” outside the courthouse. The children were brought in through a side entrance just before noon.

Just half an hour before, Giersch’s mother – who was in attendance, according to Giersch’s lawyers, so she she could look after the children during the hearing – had walked out of the courtroom smiling.

Gesmer said she did not “look kindly upon” Rutherford’s failure to comply with the order requiring the children’s presence. When Rutherford tried to address the judge directly, Gesmer shut her down.

Giersch’s team asked to excuse the press from the proceedings, and Gesmer agreed, banning media from the courtroom after saying they will begin by assessing the jurisdictional issues at play.

Ultimately, Helena and Hermes were once more ordered to say goodbye to their mother in the courthouse and left with their grandmother en route to Monaco. A member of Giersch’s legal team tells PEOPLE the children were heard speaking in their dual tongues of English and French as they reunited with their grandmother.

Rutherford, 46, and Giersch, 41, have been caught up in a bitter custody battle since she filed for divorce in 2008. A California judge ordered the children to live with their father in Monaco temporarily in 2012 because his visa had been revoked, and they spend summers with their mother in New York.

The actress has been fighting to move them back to the United States but hit two roadblocks this summer when both California and New York family courts ruled they no longer have jurisdiction over the case. Rutherford disobeyed a Monaco court order when she announced Friday that she was not flying Hermes and Helena back to Europe.

“No state in this country is currently protecting my children. It also means that no state in this country currently requires me to send the children away,” she said in a statement.

Following her refusal to return the children, German businessman Giersch accused her of kidnapping them and filed the writ of habeas corpus. “Anyone associating themselves with Kelly and her abduction is violating the law,” his lawyer Fahi Takesh Hallin said in a statement Monday.

Now Rutherford could find herself with less access to her son and daughter.

“I would be surprised if she was allowed to take the children out of Monaco again without some level of security,” Michael Stutman, head of the family group at Mishcon de Reya New York, told PEOPLE. “Maybe she won’t be able to travel with the children except one at a time, always having to leave a kid behind.”

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Kelly Rutherford and Kids Must Appear Before a Judge as Ex Accuses Her of Child Abduction


August 11, 2015

Source: www.people.com

Kelly Rutherford is facing the consequences of refusing to send her kids back to Monaco on Friday.

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A New York Supreme Court judge has signed a writ of habeas corpus filed by the Gossip Girl star’s ex-husband Daniel Giersch, and she must appear in court with son Hermes, 8, and Helena, 6, on Tuesday, sources tell PEOPLE.

“The writ of habeas corpus is a quick way to get the U.S. court to recognize the Monaco court order and to enforce it,” Michael Stutman, head of the family group at Mishcon de Reya New York, tells PEOPLE. “My guess is that Mr. Giersch’s papers in support of his petition were very compelling, and the odds are these kids are going back to Monaco tomorrow night.”

Rutherford, 46, and Giersch, 41, have been caught up in a bitter custody battle since she filed for divorce in 2008. A California judge ordered the children to live with their father in Monaco temporarily in 2012 because his visa had been revoked, and they spend summers with their mother in New York. The actress has been trying to move them back to the United States but hit two roadblocks this summer when both California and New Yorkfamily courts ruled they no longer have jurisdiction over the case. Per a Monaco court order, Rutherford was supposed to fly Hermes and Helena back to Europe on Thursday. Instead, she announced Friday that she’skeeping the kids.

“No state in this country is currently protecting my children. It also means that no state in this country currently requires me to send the children away,” she said in a statement. “Hence, I have decided that I cannot lawfully send my children away from the United States to live in a foreign country.”

It’s a risky tactic. “She’s certainly playing with fire, Stutman says. “And she’s essentially handing the children over to their father on a silver platter.”

Giersch, a German businessman, accused her of kidnapping. “Anyone associating themselves with Kelly and her abduction is violating the law,” his lawyer Fahi Takesh Hallin said in a statement Monday.

The United States and Monaco are signatories to the Hague Convention, an international agreement to protect the best interests of children. That means American judges have to respect Monaco’s arrangement, says Nancy Chemtob, a New York family and divorce attorney at Chemtob Moss & Forman in N.Y.C.

“She’s saying that, ‘Well, California said no, and New York said no, so there really is no judge overseeing my children in the United States, so therefore I don’t have to do anything because I’m not going to compelled to listen to a court in Monaco.’ And that’s not the way it works. Under the Hague Convention, she has to listen to the court and comply with court orders,” Chemtob tells PEOPLE. “I think she could lose custody for failing to comply with the court’s order.”

Rutherford has also been pleading for help from the government, testifying before Congress and garnering more than 100,000 signatures on a White House petition.

“We are aware of recent media reports of this case. We stand ready to provide all appropriate consular services,” a State Department spokesperson tells PEOPLE. “Due to privacy considerations, we have no further comment.”

So what will happen in court Tuesday? If she does not appear before the judge, a warrant could be issued for her arrest, Chemtob says, and she may be held in contempt of the court.

And even if she does bring the children to be transported back to Monaco, she could find herself with less access to her son and daughter.

“I would be surprised if she was allowed to take the children out of Monaco again without some level of security,” Stutman says. “What we do here, and I suspect they do there, is when someone is at risk of not returning the children, you make them post a bond or something of huge value to them, which they don’t get back until they return the kids, whether that’s money, whether that’s a passport. Maybe she won’t be able to travel with the children except one at a time, always having to leave a kid behind.”

“She’s really opening herself up to some pretty miserable consequences,” he adds. “Nobody likes someone who decides to take the law into their own hands.”

Attorney Robert Wallack represented Rutherford in federal court last year but is no longer on her legal team. Though he believes the original 2012 custody arrangement was flawed and that Rutherford deserves her day in court in New York, he calls her latest decision “an act of desperation.” He says he is worried it will do her more harm than good in Monaco, where there is a hearing set for Sept. 3.

“My fear for Kelly would be if they end up litigating in Monaco, and if Monaco keeps and case and Monaco decides custody or decides some type of visitation regime, that the courts there don’t allow the kids to leave in the future because there’s a concern about whether Kelly will return them or not,” he tells PEOPLE. “My concern is that she ends up with even less than she has now, if the current visitation and custody regime is upheld, that in the future she is not allowed to have them over here for these extended vacations, and that would be terrible.”

Although Rutherford disobeyed Monaco’s court order, her side counters that Giersch has not been complying with the 2012 one, which required him to re-apply for a visa (he hasn’t) and ultimately envisioned the family living in America together.

“If and when Daniel can return to the U.S., they will continue to share equal parenting time in the U.S.,” a 2013 statement of decision from the Superior Court of California in Los Angeles reads.

Plus, Rutherford was granted temporary sole custody in May by an L.A. judge after accusing Giersch of refusing to let her see the kids during a planned visit unless she turned over her U.S. passports. His objection to that emergency order is what set off the jurisdictional dispute this summer.

“Daniel is no angel, and he has on several occasions violated the original California court order by not re-applying for the visa and by, instead of lodging the California order in Monaco and obtaining a mirror order, he’s gone and applied for custody there and gotten a grant of custody there. So he’s disobeyed the California orders himself,” Wallack explains. “The courts will usually say two wrongs don’t make a right, and they don’t forgive someone for disobeying an order just because the other party has disobeyed orders himself.

“You’re certainly in better standing if you have clean hands, so the fact that Daniel has disobeyed orders I think helps Kelly, but it doesn’t erase what she’s done and what she’s doing. The last thing the courts want is a situation where either no one’s obeying any orders or you’ve got both parties picking and choosing which orders they want to abide by.”

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Kelly Rutherford Loses Bid to Fight for Custody of Kids in California


June 24, 2015

Source: US Magazine

Heartbreaking news for Kelly Rutherford. The Gossip Girl actress officially lost her bid to fight for full custody of her two young children in California on Thursday, July 23. 

kelly-rutherford Custody battle

Rutherford’s attorney David J. Glass tells Us Weekly that a judge ruled that Rutherford no longer has the right to fight for custody of her son Hermes, 8, and daughter Helena, 6, in the state of California. A judge in Monaco, where Rutherford’s ex-husband Daniel Giersch lives, had given him full custody over their children.

“We are extremely disappointed with the Ruling,” Glass told Us. “Although the Court agreed with our analysis of the law, and in fact agreed with our position that citizens can have more than residence for jurisdictional purposes, the Court ultimately did not agree with us on the facts.”

Kelly Rutherford Children

Rutherford and Giersch, a German businessman, have been in an ugly custody battle over their two children for the last six years. (Rutherford filed for divorce in 2008, while she was pregnant with their daughter). Both children regularly reside with Giersch in Monaco, and it was decided in December 2013 that he no longer had to pay for his children to visit the States and their mother.

The news is bittersweet, as both Hermes and Helena are temporarily in NYC with Rutherford, 46, for the summer after the actress was granted temporary sole custody in May by a California judge.

“I know it’s not right. Parents know — everyone knows it’s not right,” Rutherford said on Good Morning America back in April. “I can sit here and tell you how often I cry. I can tell you how it feels to leave my kids in a foreign country and seeing them after not seeing them for weeks on end. Not being able to bring them from school and pick them up from school, dress them, hug them, smell them.”

The actress filed for bankruptcy in 2013, claiming $2 million in debt, including $1.5 million in legal fees and travel fees to see her children.

Her very public plight has gained widespread attention, including the support of some bold-faced names, including former costars Ed Westwick and Matthew Settle, and even Kim Kardashian. In May, the stars and tens and thousands of others signed a White House petition to bring Rutherford’s kids back to her.

“My children, not only were they taken away, but they were sent to a foreign country,” she continued in the GMA interview. “I don’t even know how you explain to someone what it feels like.”

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Barnebortføring – TV-stjerne vant i retten – får barna tilbake


25 Mai, 2015

Kilde: VG

«Gossip Girl»-stjernen  (46) har kjempet en fortvilt kamp for sine to barn siden 2009. Nå kan hun trolig puste lettet ut.
Kelly Rutherford Children

Amerikanske Rutherford, kjent fra TV-serier som «Gossip Girl» og «Melrose Place», har i over seks år kjempet mot sin tyske eksmann – den tyske finansmannen Daniel Giersch (39). Stridens kjerne har vært deres to felles barn.

Nå melder People at retten i California har bestemt at Rutherfords sønn og datter på henholdsvis åtte og fem år skal utleveres fra faren i Monaco og flytte tilbake til moren i USA. Barna har bodd hos faren siden 2012.

– Vi er i ekstase og håper at Monaco vil respektere rettsavgjørelsen i California og sende barna hjem, sier Rutherfords advokat Wendy Murphy til People.

Advokaten presiserer at barna, som begge er amerikanske statsborgere, har rett til å bo i sitt eget hjemland.

I 2012 bestemte retten i New York at barna skulle bo hos sin Giersch, som da hadde bosatt seg i Frankrike etter at han mistet oppholdstillatelsen i USA.

Gråt på TV

Begrunnelsen var at siden Giersch ikke kom til å få nytt visum til USA, så var den beste måten å sikre at barna skulle få omgå begge foreldrene på at Rutherford reise til og fra Frankrike. Rutherford var knust over rettens avgjørelse og stilte den gangen gråtende opp på TV.

– Han kan forsvinne i morgen, og jeg ville ikke ha noen anelse om hvor jeg skulle lete. Det er min største frykt at jeg ikke skal vite hvor de befinner seg, sa Rutherford på TV.

Eksmannen har den siste tiden bodd med barna i Monaco.

– Da jeg ble skilt, hadde jeg aldri i min villeste fantasi kunnet forestille meg hvordan de seks neste årene skulle bli, uttalte TV-stjernen til Fox News tidligere i vår.

Kelly Rutherford Abducted

Rutherford søkte om skilsmisse fra ektemannen i 2009. Da var hun tre måneder på vei med parets andre barn.

Rutherford oppga standardfrasen «uforenlige forskjeller» i rettspapirene. Paret giftet seg sommeren i 2006. Bruddet kom brått. Rutherford krevde delt omsorg for barnet som da var to år, og det var starten på en lang og tung prosess.

Giersch har ikke uttalt seg offentlig om omsorgskrangelen, men kilder opplyste til amerikanske medier rundt bruddtidspunktet at han mente ekskonas TV-jobb var skadelig for barna.

Rutherford har ytterligere ett ekteskap bak seg. Det endte i brudd i 2002 etter bare et halvt år.

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