For any of you Gossip Girl fans or parents of Gossip Girl fans, you probably remember Serena van der Woodsen’s mother, Lily van der Woodsen. Her real name is Kelly Rutherford, and her life is just as dramatic as the scenes of the popular TV show.
Rutherford’s marriage to Daniel Giersch in August 2006 has led to all sorts of personal trouble for her. They had their first son Hermes in October 2006. In 2008, she was pregnant again with their second child, but ended up filing for divorce from Daniel in December of the following year. Their child, Helena, was born a few months after the date of filing. Since then, Kelly and Daniel have been in a seriously heated custody battle. Things took a major change in the divorce suit when in April 2012, Kelly’s attorney allegedly leaked information concerning Daniel’s improper business activity in the United States…which got him deported. Custody win for Kelly? Think again.
In a ruling made in August 2012 by Judge Theresa Beaudet of California Superior Court, Los Angeles County, the children were ordered to live with Daniel in France and have Kelly Rutherford visit there for her periods of possession. This was devastating to Rutherford, who has spent over $2 million dollars in her custody battle. However, if she did leak the information concerning Daniel’s (allegedly) illegal business endeavors in the United States, this backfired on her. Although she still received 50/50 possession, it was an unworkable possession plan. It was not until May 2015 that Rutherford was granted temporary sole custody of the children during the suit proceedings. What does this mean? While this is not the end of the road in this suit, it is a major turn in the right direction.
Why? Clients always ask us what a Temporary Orders hearing is– a Temporary Orders hearing is as serious as final trial because it sets the “status quo” for the rest of your suit. It is a full-blown hearing, witnesses, testimony, evidence and all to determine what orders the Court should put in place (i.e. temporary spousal support, temporary child support, temporary possession (time with the children), temporary conservatorship (rights and duties to the children)). If the Court hears all of the evidence and determines that certain things should happen during the pendency of this suit, there’s a good chance the Court won’t stir too far from what they ordered on a temporary basis- especially when it comes to the child-related issues. That doesn’t mean that either party can’t mess up between the time of the temporary orders hearing and final trial for the Court to order something very different, but, for example, if the Court awards 50/50 temporary possession of the children on a temporary basis, the Court will likely order the same thing on a final basis. Here, Kelly Rutherford is in a good spot- the Court ordered that the children be brought back to the United States. It seems unlikely that the Court will order the children to go back to France on a final basis, but you never know…hopefully this suit is nearing an end for the sake of the children.
If you are in a custody battle and have more questions please contact us at 214-692-8200.