What Are The Consequences of Violating a Court Order In A Custody Battle? The Sequel

The Bitter Custody Battle of Kelly Rutherford Comes To An End.

Last September, I posted an article in which I opined that the conduct of Kelly Rutherford would hurt her in her petition for full custody of her children. I was specifically referring to her refusal Kelly Rutherfordto follow the clear terms of a court order, wherein she was supposed to return her children to their father in Monaco, after their summer visit with her in the United States.

If you recall, Ms Rutherford took the position that she did not have to return her children to their father in Monaco, since the children are US citizens. She further opined that Monaco did not have jurisdiction to order her to return the children to their father.

Do you remember what happened back in Sept 2015? A New York Judge ordered Kelly to return the children to their father forthwith, per the clear terms of the Monaco court order.

Back then, I opined that Ms. Rutherford’s conduct would hurt her credibility, and, thereby, hinder her fight for full parental custody.

Fast forward to the present. There was a court hearing in Monaco in November 2015. The final decision was rendered. After a long and bitter 10 year custody battle, a Monaco Judge ruled that the father has primary physical custody. While Ms. Rutherford has visitation rights, she is only permitted to exercise those rights in Monaco. The order states that Ms Rutherford may spend 2 weeks per year with her children. There is also a vacation order in place wherein the parties split holiday schedules.  The children spend half of Christmas, Spring and Summer vacations with their father and their mother. But again, all visits, including holiday visits, must take place in France. Ms Rutherford is prohibited from removing the children from France.

Had Ms. Rutherford returned the children to France back in Sept 2015, per the clear terms of the court order, I think the outcome would have been different. I think that she would have been given more than 2 weeks per year with her children. I think the court would have been far more generous with Ms. Rutherford. For instance, the court may have ordered that the children spend the school year with their father in France, and all of summer vacation with their mother in the United States. I also think the vacation schedule would have been rotated. The court may have ordered that the children spend alternate holidays with each parent. Also, the holidays with mom could have been spent in the United States.

However, by violating a court order, and refusing to return the children to their father last September, Ms Rutherford demonstrated that she cannot be trusted. The court probably feared that if visits were allowed in the United States, Ms. Rutherford would, once again, refuse to return the children to Monaco per court order or agreement. Thus, her fate was sealed back in Sept.

Once again, the Moral of the Story is Never Ever Violate A Court Order!