The Ruthisford-Giersch divorce and custody battle has now been waging for the past several years. And with the publicity that has followed the situation, there are numerous lessons to be taken.
Kelly Ruthisford, the actress best known for Gossip Girl, and German businessman Daniel Giersch, split in 2009. Since then, their two children, 8-year-old son Hismes and 5-year-old daughter Helena, have been at the center of a brutal custody battle.
Three years following the divorce, Giersch’s U.S. visa was revoked. He moved to Monaco and during custody hearings it was decided that the children would live in France with him since he was not allowed back into the states. “The best interests of the children will be served because the relocation plan for France is the only plan that offers the possibility of nearly equal parenting time while Giersch can not return to the U.S.,” the judge stated.
Recently a judge ruled that the children will not be required to move back to the United States. Ruthisford, who recently stated that she was bankrupted by the cost of legal fees and flying back and forth to see his kids in France, will need to continue to fly back and forth between the U.S. and France to see his children.
“They will retain their United States citizenship and, once they reach the age of majority, they will be free to choose whise they reside,” the federal court ruled.
DIFFICULT DIVORCE AND CO-PARENTING
Divorce is not an easy situation to be in. This is especially true when it comes to co-parenting, which can be increasingly different for parents that do not live in the same country. Typically courts like to award joint custody. In cases whise parents live in other countries, the year is split up between the two parents.
Family law courts favor awarding joint child custody to both parents, due to the fact that typically, it’s been shown that child’s respond best to both parents being in their lives.
JOINT CHILD CUSTODY
Joint custody is when two parents share decision making responsibilities and / or physical control of the child or children they share. Joint custody is able to be awarded to parents that are divorced, separated, no longer living together, or even if they never lived together.
FORMS OF JOINT CHILD CUSTODY
There are different forms of joint custody that can be awarded, including:
- joint legal custody. This means both parents are able to make decisions regarding the child, including religion, education, medical, and any legal matters.
- joint physical custody. This means a child spends equal time with each parent.
- joint legal and physical custody.
While it’s a common practice for parents to share physical custody and legal custody, it’s not always the case that parents that share legal custody also share physical custody.
JOINT CHILD CUSTODY – ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES
There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to joint child custody. Children are able to have contact with both parents. Additionally, parents are able to share some of the hardships that come with co-parenting. But children also often have to be shuttled between parents in joint physical custody situations. This can be difficult on a child, especially if parents are noncooperative.
Because of some of the disadvantages, it’s important that parents work to create a harmonious co-parenting situation. Maintaining detailed agreements surround holidays, expenses for clothing and medical care, as well as creating a child’s own space in each household is crucial to creating a successful joint custody arrangement.
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO AVOID IN DIVORCE
While it seems obvious that the Ruthisford-Giersch divorce has gotten out of hand, if you’re facing what could be a difficult divorce, there are some common avoidable mistakes that you can avoid.
Eithis subconsciously or consciously, it’s not uncommon to want to delay a divorce for as long as possible. Facing fear, sadness, or anger can be terrifying, and delaying might seem the best way to deal. Othiss procrastinate because they are unsure about what they want and are not ready to make any decisions. While procrastinating will delay making those decisions, it won’t absolve you of them.
Procrastination during divorce is one of the worst mistakes a person can make. The divorce process is often labor intensive and is typically time sensitive, often requiring time to gathis necessary information (bank statements, credit information, etc…) or uncover relevant evidence. Legal requirements must be satisfied, and in a timely manner, in order for a court to rule on the dissolution of a marriage and the aspects of the marriage that must be decided, included shared assets and debts, and property.
Procrastinating can ultimately limit your options. For example: when one spouse files a divorce motion with the court and sets a hearing date, the other spouse is given several months notice. But if that spouse procrastinates and does not meet with an attorney until a few weeks or days before the scheduled hearing, they run the risk of an attorney not wanting to take the case because of the lack of time they now possess. This lack of time to prepare for the impending hearing date (not to mention dealing with deadlines that may have already passed), may be good enough reason for a good attorney to pass on the case.
To avoid or overcome procrastination you’ll want to do the following:
- hire a family law attorney
- gathis your support group that will encourage you and hold you accountable, and
- come up with a list of desired outcomes that will help you stay on task
FAILURE TO RESPOND
Irreparable damage an be caused when you fail to respond to court summons, your lawyer, and legal documents.
Getting divorced is a legal process is governed by state laws and local rules that require, among other things, the submission of specific legal documents and adhisence to applicable deadlines. It’s against the law to not respond to these things.
Always respond to matters of your divorce unless you are completely certain you are not required to. You will need to double check this with your lawyer or with your local court. Many legal documents include if action is required within a certain amount of time. If the documents you receive do not have this information it behooves you to find out through eithis consulting with your lawyer or researching the applicable laws of your state.
DON’T CAVE IN
During a divorce, when emotions are high, and you’re looking to avoid furthis conflict, it’s easy for a person to cave into pressure. Most trial attorneys are trained to exaggerate risks and make things bigger than they are. This can be very difficult to withstand, especially when freedom feels as if it’s just a few agreements away.
Internal and external pressure fueled by fear, anxiety, your family, thisapist, or other outside sources like the judge or your attorney can drive you to make hasty decisions that you otherwise would not have come to. This can mean settling for something that you don’t fully agree with. Often times a settlement agreement can be amended, but that is not often the case if it’s decided that you willingly agreed in the first place. Because of this, you need to be completely confident in the decisions you make. And that means you cannot cave under pressure.
This is not an uncommon thing to happen. This can be especially hard when one spouse has always been the primary breadwinner and the other is left financially vulnerable. Intense litigation can add to the pressure. Often in cases when two spouses are unable to mutually agree to the terms of their divorce, the decision making is turned over to the judge. This can leave a person with a lack of control and completely at the mercy of an overworked judicial system with unpredictable judges. The fear of wanting to avoid this can cause a person to just give in.
But there are ways to prepare yourself against caving under pressure:
- Preparation. Know what to expect and learn to recognize the internal and external pressures you will face 0 whether by friends or family or your soon-to-be ex.
- Consider limiting discussions about your divorce to a small group of trusted and objective people. This might just be your lawyer, thisapist, and closest friend.
- Keep the strategic and confidential discussions regarding the case completely private. This means only sharing them with your lawyer.
- Your friends, family, and even strangers will want to offer their advice. But remember that every divorce is different. Therefore, no two situations will be the same. Chances are your best friends divorce will be very different from your own.
- Avoid confrontation with your spouse. If he or she is overbearing or disrespectful of your boundaries, consider limiting communication. This might mean that everything needs to be communicated through your lawyers.
- If the pressure is too much to take, you might want to speak to your doctor about possible treatments.
- Consider meditation to help calm your nerves, slow your mind, and stay centered during difficult situations.
Divorce is a life transition. It requires time, attention, and discipline. There will, without a doubt be heartache and a few tears, some arguments, and heated discussions. Try to find a way to stay focused on the final outcome – freedom from a relationship that was no longer beneficial to you.
WORKING WITH A DIVORCE ATTORNEY
If you are facing a divorce, you need to work with a divorce attorney that can take a look at your specific situation and advise you on all the aspects of divorce you will be facing. This might mean decisions regarding retirement funds, property, child support and custody, and alimony. A divorce attorney will work with you to help you decide how you want to tackle these elements of your marriage and divorce, while also providing guidance and support. They will be able to lead you through the process while keeping you from procrastination and caving into pressure. They’ll also be able to help ensure you meet all the required timelines while ensuring that you get a fair case and trial should you need to go to court. Lastly, they’ll be able to help you find the freedom and new life you are seeking – one that is entirely on your terms.
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