March 8, 2017
A lawyer for Scarlett Johansson's estranged husband is hitting back at the actress after she filed for divorce Tuesday in New York, telling USA TODAY that the actress' filing was a "preemptory strike" that made public their custody fight over their toddler daughter.
Divorce lawyer Lois Liberman, head of Blank Rome's matrimonial practice in New York, says Johansson's legal team may have filed in order to ensure that the custody matter would be decided by a New York family court, not one in Dauriac's native France, where the couple also have lived and where they own a gourmet popcorn business in Paris.
"They might be looking to ensure that (Johansson) has the ability to get the intervention of the court to either stop him from taking the child to France or to give her permission to take the child somewhere," Liberman says. "Maybe she's about to leave (to go) on location and wanted to take her (daughter) with her."
If the custody case remains in New York, and assuming the couple do not reach a negotiated settlement, Liberman says such disputes are decided based on where the child normally resides and what is in the child's best interest.
"The issue will be who will be the child's primary caretaker," she says. "Which parent has the more stable schedule that provides the child with what would deemed a 'normal' existence?"
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"Scarlett Johansson's Ex: Divorce Filing Made Custody Fight a 'Public Spectacle'," by Jayme Deerwester and Maria Puente was published in USA Today on March 8, 2017.