A 45-year-old actress from Gossip Girl and resident of New York has taken her child custody case to the federal courts. She claims that having her children in their father’s custody amounts to their deportation. The father, who was awarded physical custody by a California court in August 2012, is German born and lives in France. He was apparently expelled from the United States. Satisfying his custody ruling would require that the children live in France and be visited by their mother. The couple technically has an equal 50-50 care-taking agreement. It is unknown how well this would be observed if the children were moved to France.
The mother argues that having the children, who are aged 5 and 7, moved to France would be detrimental to them and too difficult a transition. The mother also recently declared bankruptcy primarily due to legal fees, and her ability to make trips back and forth to France consistently is also in question. The matter is being taken to federal court primarily because the mother and her attorney are calling the move a deportation. A neutral legal analyst pointed out that this may be a move to sidestep the authority of the state court, which offered the initial ruling regarding the current custody agreement.
A child custody agreement can be a complicated legal matter for everyone involved. If the parents cannot come to their own agreement about custody, the court will usually, examine factors that might affect the best interests of the child. Maintaining contact with both parents is preferred when possible.
There are numerous factors that contribute to this decision, including the ability of each parent to care for the child adequately. Financial status is often a major factor. In this case, the mother’s bankruptcy may have contributed to the decision. Moving the children to another country is an extreme arrangement, and the federal court may overturn the state court’s decision.
Source: ABC News, “‘Gossip Girl’ Kelly Rutherford Takes ‘Deported’ Kids Battle to Federal Court“, August 13, 2014