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Child custody: 'Gossip Girl' star must go to France to see kids

Kelly Rutherford, the actress known for her role on the TV series "Gossip Girl," has been embroiled in child custody litigation with her ex-husband. New details have emerged from the trial which give Pennsylvania readers some indication of the basis for the court's decision. The judge ordered that the father shall be the primary residential parent of the former couple's two children. The child custody determination was unusually significant because the children will now reside with the father in France.

Indeed, it is reported that the two children, ages 5 and 3, are already living abroad. The court's decision appears based, at least in part, on its findings concerning the actions of Rutherford. It is said that she sought to minimize and even eradicate the father's role in the children's lives. On the other hand, the court is said to have credited the father for promoting the childrens' relationship with their mother.

The judge presiding over the child custody proceedings apparently requested that Rutherford include the father's name on the birth certificate. She is said to have continually resisted. Furthermore, the court apparently concluded that Rutherford's actions were not consistent with the desired role of a "residential parent." The custody determination did award the mother equal time with the children but directed that that time will have to take place in France. To that end, the father must furnish Rutherford with six round trip tickets to France each year, as well as provide her with a house and car when she is there.

As Pennsylvania parents likely know, when a mother and father are not able to agree on a child custody arrangement, the court is left to decide the issue for them. In reaching a determination, a court typically seeks to act in the best interests of the children involved. In this instance, the unwillingness of one parent to cooperate with the other appears to have been a deciding factor. As such, it underscores the importance for parents to interact with their children in a manner that seeks to foster a positive relationship with the other parent.

Source: Entertainmentwise.com, "Judge Says Kelly Rutherford Attempted to Alienate Children From Dad," Patricia Ramos, Aug. 30, 2012

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