Battles over child custody can be complicated, often involving issues of financial support, living arrangements and the suitability of each parent attempting to gain primary custody. When the custody fight crosses international lines, new issues may arise, as evidenced in the recent child custody case involving actress Kelly Rutherford.

In a recent custody hearing, a judge ruled in favor of Rutherford’s German ex-husband, granting him custody of their two children. Custody was formerly held by Rutherford after the pair split in 2008. Her ex-husband now resides in France after having his U.S. visa revoked and being barred from re-entry into the country. He relocated their 5- and 3-year-old children to France.

Rutherford is attempting to regain custody of the two children amid fears of losing track of them and her ex-husband. Her husband released a statement through his lawyer saying that he is dedicated to co-parenting and welcomes contact between Rutherford and the children. The judge said that if the children’s father doesn’t work to seek U.S. residency, the custody ruling will be overturned and the children will go back to New York with Rutherford.

Texas citizens should be aware that they do have rights regarding the custody of their children, even when the children are presently with a custodial parent in another country. The best interests of the children can change according to circumstances. This means that changes in custody are possible if the noncustodial parent can prove that such a change is in the best interests of the children. This, however, must be done through legal routes. Speaking to an experienced family law attorney about custody modification may be helpful.

Source: CBS News, “Kelly Rutherford gets emotional about custody war on ‘The View’,” Lauren Moraski, Sept. 13, 2012