No matter how many times a person reads about custody-related issues, it can never fully prepare a parent for these challenges. Working through a child custody agreement can be one of the most difficult things for a California parent to do. People hear about custody arrangements on TV shows and in the news all time, and may think they will know what to expect, but that is often not the case.
Fans of the popular "Gossip Girl" show know just how much drama and betrayal that actress Kelly Rutherford has been a part of on the show. But even playing the divorced mother of two children onscreen could not prepare her for the very real custody battle she is currently going through off screen.
According to reports, Rutherford and her husband were married for two years before they divorced. They divorced in 2009 while she was pregnant with their second child. After the split, her ex-husband moved to France after his visa was revoked. During the summer, the children went to visit the German businessman in France and have yet to return.
Rutherford petitioned the court to order the return of her children so that they could be back in the United States before school began in early September. She was devastated to learn that the judge ruled that until the father had his visa reinstated and he could come back to the U.S., the children would stay with him in France.
There are stipulations of this agreement that require the father to pay for flights and accommodations for Rutherford to visit her children 6 times a year. However, Rutherford is reportedly, and understandably, very upset about the situation. She claims that her ex has made no attempt to challenge the revocation of his visa or to have it overturned so that he can return to the country. Therefore, the children will stay with him indefinitely, even though the two parents share joint custody.
Moving away can have an enormous impact on parents. However, children also may have difficulty adjusting to a new home and new life. In these circumstances, it is very important that children can continue to enjoy a relationship with both parents. But when a parent makes this kind of arrangement difficult or impossible, he or she is ultimately hurting the child the most.
Source: New York Post, "Kept apart from kids, 'Gossip Girl' actress bares her pain," Annie Karni, Sept. 9, 2012