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Judge orders Kelly Rutherford's children back to U.S.

New Jersey television fans may be interested to learn that a Los Angeles judge has ordered actress Kelly Rutherford's ex-husband to return the couple's two children to her custody in the United States. The children, ages 6 and 8, have been living with their father overseas for a number of years.

The order is the latest development in a highly-publicized custody saga that began when Rutherford and her husband, a native of Germany, divorced in 2010. After traveling with their children abroad, her ex-husband claims he was denied re-entry into the United States. In 2013, a California judge ruled that the children should live with their father in France while he worked to resolve his visa issue. However, he allegedly repeatedly violated the order by refusing to request a visa, and he recently petitioned a court in Monaco to change the citizenship of the couple's American children.

After learning of the citizenship petition, Rutherford filed an emergency petition on May 22 to gain custody of the children. She said she did not notify her ex-husband of the hearing over fears that he would kidnap their children. The court granted her temporary custody and ordered that the children be returned to the United States in time for a June 15 court hearing. After the ruling, she took to Twitter to thank her fans for their support. More than 118,000 people signed an online petition asking the government to intervene in her custody case.

Child custody disputes can be very complex and emotional for everyone involved. Any parent who is facing a difficult custody negotiation may benefit by consulting with a family law attorney to see if mediation or another method would be an appropriate solution.

Source: CBS News, "Judge orders children returned to Kelly Rutherford in custody fight," May 26, 2015

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