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Helton Law Firm, PLLC

Issues that may affect child custody

As Tennessee residents may know, interference with visitation in child custody cases may result in custody of a child being awarded to the other parent. This is what happened in the case of actress Kelly Rutherford and her ex-husband. Rutherford was ordered by the court to return her children to Monaco to live with their father, who had been awarded physical custody of the children.

Custody of the two children of Rutherford and ex-spouse Daniel Giersch was given to the father after Rutherford allegedly refused to return the children to Monaco as part of their joint custody agreement. The problem is compounded by the fact that California had jurisdiction over issues concerning custody, but they have lived in Monaco for some time and the state court has said that Monaco now holds jurisdiction.

Giersch's visa had been revoked, which made it impossible for him to come visit the children. Following this, Rutherford had earlier requested sole custody of the children. Instead of it being granted, the U.S. courts ordered that joint custody be maintained and that the children be sent to spend time with their father in Monaco.

Courts look at what is in the best interest of the child, and contention between parents is an issue that may cause the court to decide to grant custody to the parent that is not causing problems. Some of the things the court looks at are stability of the home, cultural and religious issues, whether the child has a bond with the community and school and if other siblings live in the home. When a child custody dispute arises, it might be prudent for a parent to consult with an attorney. The attorney may look at the issues and advise on a course of action to uphold the best interest of the children involved.

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