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Kelly Rutherford declares bankruptcy amid child custody fight

It's public knowledge that some divorce proceedings can be financially costly, especially for those with high assets or those going through a particularly contentious divorce. While mediation is a relatively cost effective way to handle a divorce, sometimes divorces go to trial and require significant investment in legal assistance and other fees. While struggling through a financially challenging trial may seem difficult, cost becomes less of a factor to many when something as important as child custody is on the line.

Some Bay Staters may know actress Kelly Rutherford from her work on the television show "Gossip Girl," but the star is now in the spotlight over her lengthy and contentious divorce proceedings. She was married to a German businessman, with whom she had two children. In 2009, while still pregnant with their second child, she filed for divorce. In 2012, a judge ruled that her husband should have primary custody of the two children. They now reside with him in Monaco, but Rutherford did not give up the fight to regain legal custody.

In fact, the actress has now declared bankruptcy, claiming that the costs of the child custody battle have exhausted all of her finances. According to her bankruptcy documents, the actress claims nearly $24,000 in assets while having approximately $2 million in debts. She says all of her assets from "Gossip Girl" have been invested in the legal battle, including her pension and stocks.

While many individuals do not have this level of assets to invest into a legal struggle, the threat of financial consequences is very real to many contemplating divorce and child custody struggles. However, by discussing the matter with legal experts, some of these financial consequences may be avoided. While attempting to come to an amicable child custody agreement may still be the wisest choice, with preparation and determination, winning child custody in a trial separation is possible.

Source: Huffington Post, "Kelly Rutherford Bankrupt After Expensive Custody Battle," June 24, 2013

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