Actress Kelly Rutherford is taking her bitter custody battle with DANIEL GIERSCH into her own hands as she cannot afford a lawyer.

The Gossip Girl star, who was declared bankrupt in June (13), has been flying back and forth to Europe since last year (12) when a judge ruled Hermes, six, and Helena, three, should live with their businessman father in France.

Now the actress is preparing to represent herself in the legal battle as she has reportedly "spent every penny" she received from Gossip Girl and her pension.

She tells the New York Daily News, "The (custody) arrangement is really the same... The plan was always to have (the kids) home for the summer. Now I'm just representing myself in court because of the bankruptcy."

Rutherford's children are currently in France but the actress insists they had the time of their life when they spent summer with her in New York.

She adds, "We had a blast... The kids got to see all their friends in New York, we went to the Hamptons. We went to the museums and we went on the scooters in the park. Helena took ballet and French lessons and Hermes took piano... I asked them if they wanted to go to camp part of the day and they said, 'No, we just want to be with you.' We had fun."