On July 23, a judge in California ruled that the state had no jurisdiction over the custody case involving actress Kelly Rutherford’s two children. According to the judge, Rutherford’s 8-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter have only spent about one week in California over the past two years and only have a ‘tenuous” connection to the state.

Rutherford has been involved in a child custody battle with her German-born ex-husband, Daniel Giersch, for several years. When Giersch lost his U.S. visa in 2012, a judge in California ruled that he could have physical custody of the children. The children have been living with Giersch in Monaco while Rutherford has been attempting to regain physical custody of them.

According to Rutherford’s attorney, the actress has been forced to live bi-coastally due to her children’s location. Her attorney argues that the court created the situation which caused Rutherford’s children to lose their connections to California. He said that Rutherford was extremely disappointed by the ruling. A legal analyst said that the judge’s decision means that there is now no U.S. court with jurisdiction over the case, and Rutherford may decide to appeal the decision.

Child custody disputes are never easy, but they can become especially complicated when the parents live in two different countries. A parent who is involved in an international child custody dispute with a former spouse may want to have a lawyer’s help. A lawyer may be able to help facilitate communication between the different courts involved and argue for the child custody arrangement that the parent is seeking.

Source: ABC News, “Judge Rules Kelly Rutherford’s Custody Battle Can’t Continue in California,” Michael Rothman and Lesley Messer, July 23, 2015