Actress Kelly Rutherford Loses International Child Custody Battle

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Pennsylvania international child custody cases may be among the most difficult types of family law cases to resolve, not only because of their complex nature, but mainly because they involve the difficult decision of placing primary custody with one geographically distant parent over the other. Actress Kelly Rutherford epitomized this notion when asked outside of a New York courthouse this week about her feeling on being ordered to return her children to her ex-husband in Monaco. Her response was universal: “I think how any parent would feel if they lost their kids.”

While Ms. Rutherford and her ex-husband have been divorced since 2008, they have reportedly been in court since that time over child custody issues concerning their two children. The struggle appears to stem from the fact that Ms. Rutherford’s ex-husband purportedly had his American visa revoked and had to return to Monaco. While Ms. Rutherford wanted to keep her children with her in the United States, court battles resulted in the children being ordered to reside with their father overseas. Since the initial child custody determination, the parties have been in court over alleged custody order violations and Ms. Rutherford’s apparent attempts to modify the child custody order so that the children reside in the United States.

Ms. Rutherford’s case is one of many similar cases that arise in the context of international child custody law. When facing a Pittsburgh child custody case involving international issues, a petition for relocation may be filed. In that case, the court’s decision will be based on the best interest of the child. Some factors the court considers in determining Pennsylvania child custody relocation cases include:

  • The job opportunities available to the moving parent, including how those opportunities would enhance the general quality of life of the children;
  • The motives of both parents in moving or seeking to prevent the move; and
  • How the move will impact the relationship between the non-relocating parent and the children.

Being prepared for an international child custody case starts with having the right representation on your side. You need an Allegheny County child custody lawyer who is skilled and knowledgeable, and our attorneys have what it takes to help you protect the best interest of your children. Contact us today to discuss how we can help.