Scarlett Johansson files for divorce

San Jose film fans may be interested to learn that actress Scarlett Johansson filed for divorce from her husband on March 8. The estranged couple are now fighting over the custody of their 2-year-old daughter.

Johansson, 34, and her husband, a 32-year-old French citizen, have been married for two years. According to media reports, the pair had been holding settlement negotiations behind closed doors, but Johansson surprised her husband’s legal team by suddenly filing public divorce papers in New York family court. She did this even though New York allows celebrities to file divorce documents using fake names in order to avoid intrusive publicity.

The day after Johansson filed for divorce, she issued a statement saying that she would not be making any public comments and asking for privacy. Johansson’s husband also issued a statement expressing dismay over his wife’s choice to make the matter public and asking her to withdraw her divorce action and restart negotiations. However, family law observers said it is unlikely Johansson will return to the negotiating table. If the divorce papers are not withdrawn, a New York family court judge will be assigned to the case. However, there is a possibility her husband could file his own divorce papers in France, which would trigger a hearing to determine the case’s jurisdiction.

Child custody cases can be emotional and complex, especially when international jurisdiction questions apply. Parents faced with child custody disputes may find it helpful to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. Legal counsel could assess the case and negotiate parenting agreements that are in the best interests of the child.

Source: USA Today, “Scarlett Johansson’s custody battle: What happens next?“, Maria Puente, March 9, 2017