Kelly Rutherford has been awarded temporary sole custody of her two children. A California judge signed an order on Friday requiring the actress' children to be returned to the United States.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mark Juhas ruled that the children, Hermes, 8, and Helena, 5, are citizens and residents only of the United States, and that Monaco has no jurisdiction over the children's lives.
Kelly Rutherford has been awarded sole custody of her two children File photo: Getty Images
The judge also ruled that the California order requiring the children to move to France in 2012 was meant to be temporary, and that it was improper for the children's father to establish residency for the children in Monaco.
"Kelly is thrilled with the outcome and is looking forward to bring reunited with her children," a spokesperson for the Children's Justice Campaign, who was in the court on Friday for the ruling, told HELLO!.
The order was issued after an emergency, no-notice hearing one day after Kelly, 46, arrived in Monaco for a week-long visit with her children, but was denied access by the children's father Daniel Giersch. Both children were said to be devastated as was their mother, a source close to the actress said.
The actress hopes to be reunited with her children soon File photo: Getty Images
"We are hopeful that he will turn over the children to Ms. Rutherford to comply with the order as soon as possible so that the children can be returned to the United States per the court's orders," Kelly's lawyer David Glass told HELLO! in a statement.
The happy news comes just a month after Kelly told HELLO! she was "doing everything I can to survive" after losing the latest court attempt to regain custody of her two young children in the international custody battle.
In April, the Gossip Girl star's attempt to seek help from a federal court to grant her custody of the children was unsuccessful, with a judge ruling that they should continue to live with their father in France. Since then a petition imploring the White House to intervene has garnered more than 118,000 signatures.
The mother-of-two was originally granted shared custody of Hermes and Helena when she and Daniel split in 2009.
However when the German businessman's American visa was revoked in 2012, a court decided that the children should live in France with him and Kelly should travel there to see them.
Kelly's celebrity friends were quick to react to the happy news with Kim Kardashian tweeting: "Wow!!!!! Congrats @KellyRutherford You deserve ever bit of this joy!!!! Xoxo"
The judge has ordered both parents and the two children to appear in court in Los Angeles June 15. Efforts to reach Daniel Giersch's U.S.-based lawyer Fahi Takesh Hallin, to comment on the ruling were unsuccessful.
To learn more about the Children's Justice Campaign, the non-profit family court advocacy organization that Kelly helped found, click here.