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Why the Gossip Girl Rutherford New York Jurisdiction Decision Make Sense

Kelly Rutherford is a well-known actress. She was recently ordered to return her children to their father in Monaco by the New York Supreme Court. The children had been living with their mother when their father lost his U.S. visa. During the court proceedings, it was argued Rutherford believed she was legally unable to take her children away from the United States to reside in another country.

Order
A judge provided an order demanding the children be returned to Monaco so they could be reunited with their father. Rutherford complied with the order. Many legal experts agree with this decision made by the New York Supreme Court. This is based on the facts of the case despite the strong feelings Rutherford expressed.

Law
It is believed this decision is correct according to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (UCCJE). Based on this law, New York could not have been established as the residential home state for the children. The facts of the case established the children were only visiting New York to spend time with their mother. A family court in California granted custody to their father Daniel Giersch in 2012. Should jurisdiction not have been established by another state or country, New York could have considered handling the case. The facts of the case made it clear the state of New York had no jurisdiction when it came to awarding Rutherford custody of the children.

Home State
Before a New York Court can legally alter a child custody order, the court must establish it has jurisdiction in the case. This must be based on section 75 of the Domestic Relations law, which requires a state to be established as a home state for any child involved in the action. This is a place where the children have been residing with one or more parents for a minimum of six months and prior to the start of legal proceedings. This will be determined to be a child’s home state. According to the law, a home state will continue to be a child’s home state as long as they live there.

Significant Connection
It is acknowledged a court only has discretion in a situation where it can be proven a child has a significant connection to the state. This means the longer children are away from a state or country; the more difficult it is to prove a state or country is their home and has legal jurisdiction. In the Rutherford case, she argued the intention of the custody ruling in California was so her former spouse could address his visa issues. Neither New York or California could be established as the home state because the children had been out of the United States for so long.

Emergency Jurisdiction
This UCCJEA does contain certain provisions that are applicable to emergency jurisdiction. This covers circumstances where a child is abandoned as well as if a child’s parents or siblings require protection. The facts of the Rutherford case showed no cause for emergency jurisdiction as stated in the law. A situation where the mother doesn’t want to send her children back to a foreign country is not considered a reasonable basis to apply emergency jurisdiction. Under New York law, a court is required to recognize the parenting time as well as custody rulings of foreign countries that meet certain criteria. These countries are expected to also follow custody rulings from courts in the United States.

Hague Convention
The decision by the New York Court is also in compliance with the Hague convention. This is international law and requires children to be returned to their signatory nation if it has been proved the children are habitual residents of that country. When it comes to international law covering child custody, countries can have a different interpretation of the legal concepts of the law. The Hague Convention requires all signatories to respect for the rights associated with visitation as well as access established by courts outside their country. When making decisions concerning custody, all courts are required to do what is determined to be in the best interest of the children.

Right Decision
The case involving Kelly Rutherford, her children and their father was complicated. The facts of the case clearly showed the New York court did not have jurisdiction in the matter, and it made the correct decision. This was also the right decision based on the Hague convention, UCCJEA as well as New York state law. According to news sources, Kelly Rutherford has made a decision to continue fighting to get custody of her children and return them to the United States. This time, she will be going to Monaco and pleading her case before a court in that country.

This case has frequently been seen in international media around the world. It is a complicated matter involving personal allegations and more. The constant legal battle have required the children to regularly go back and forth between the United States and Europe. Should anyone find themselves dealing with an international custody dispute, they should contact an experienced attorney. They will know the best way to proceed when facing such a complicated situation.