What Scarlett Johansson Can Teach Us About International Divorce and Custody

Via Instagram

Celebrities have it all. We frequently think of this only in terms of the good – access to clothes, cars, and lavish homes. However, they can also have the same struggles that affect non-celebrities, like divorce and custody battles.  Worse, for celebrities, those personal, family issues can wind up splashed all over the front page.

Scarlett Johansson and Roman Dauriac

Take Scarlett Johansson. Scarlett and her husband Romain Dauriac had their daughter Rose Dorothy in 2014 and the two wed shortly after. A few years later, things haven’t worked out and the couple has decided to divorce. Negotiations had been taking place privately between the pair and their lawyers until recently when Scarlett decided to file in New York, making the case a whole lot more public.

According to reports (which wouldn’t exist if Scarlett and Romain had remained in private negotiations outside of court), Dauriac and Johansson are both seeking custody of their young child, with Dauriac stating his intentions to move back to Paris if he is awarded custody. Johansson is seeking to keep her daughter with her in the States.

Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act “UCCJEA”

One possibility for why Scarlett filed might have been to establish New York’s jurisdiction over the child custody and potential relocation dispute. Under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act, or “UCCJEA”, the court of jurisdiction is wherever a child has resided for the previous six months. This prevents parents from moving and taking the child away from a non-custodial parent without either their consent or a court order.

International Custody Issues Adds Additional Complexity

Child custody disputes can be complex on their own, but the additional challenge of an international case can be even more difficult to navigate. Depending on the issues involved and the choices the parents make, the law of other states or nations — as well as international law — may come into play, including the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, a treaty with approximately 45 member countries, and the aforementioned UCCJEA.

Our mobile and global community means that many people living in Connecticut can face international divorce and custody issues. For example, one or both spouses can be foreign nationals living in the United States, or one or both spouses are US citizens or nationals, but living abroad.

No one plans on getting divorced or becoming embroiled in custody disputes, but it is important to know your rights and the laws in the event the unexpected happens. International child custody issues can involve disputes over relocation, enforcement of child custody decisions and, in extreme situations, abductions.  It is critical to ensure that you involve counsel experienced with international divorce and custody issues.


Freed Marcroft’s attorneys guide select clients through the legal aspects of divorce and family law issues while remaining mindful of their overall wellness.

To discuss our helping with your situation, contact us today either here or by phone at 860-560-8160

Written by Meghan Freed