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Court rules it has no jurisdiction in actress's custody dispute

On July 23, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled that California does not have jurisdiction over actress Kelly Rutherford's custody case. The judge stated that the children no longer had the requisite connection to the state as they had only visited for one week within the last two years.

Initially, Rutherford and her ex-husband had joint custody of their two children. In 2012, however, her ex-husband lost his U.S. visa. A judge subsequently ruled that the children should live with their father in Monaco, which would allow them to live in one place as their father could not visit them in the U.S. Since then, Rutherford had been fighting to bring her children back to the U.S. while traveling abroad to visit with them.

According to the actress's attorney, the ruling put Rutherford in a legal bind. No U.S. court has legal jurisdiction over the case. It is not known what the next steps are as there is no precedent to this case. She can potentially appeal the ruling, but it was not known if this was the plan. In the meantime, the ex-husband's attorney stated that the father intends to allow the children to continue to have a strong relationship with their mother.

Any child custody dispute is likely to result in one parent not being able to see their children as much as they desire. If a parent feels that they are unable to have a strong relationship with their children due to visitation restrictions, their attorney may potentially request to have the visitation scheduled modified so that the parent can have a more active role in the child's life. If the other parent refuses to let the parent see their children, an attorney may also seek sole custody.

Source: ABC News, "Judge Rules Kelly Rutherford's Custody Battle Can't Continue in California", michael Rothman and Lesley Messer, July 23, 2015

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