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Scarlett Johansson files for divorce, custody battle looming

Oklahoma movie fans may have heard that Scarlett Johansson filed for divorce on March 7. Johansson was reportedly seeking joint custody of their 2-year-old daughter though she requested that the child live primarily with her as her estranged husband is from France.

The former couple was reportedly in the process of negotiating a divorce settlement outside of court when Johansson filed the divorce action. Experts stated that, by filing the case in a New York court, the case has a better chance of being under the jurisdiction of a court in the United States instead of a French court. The New York court may have jurisdiction over the case as long as the child has lived there for the past six months.

If a New York judge confirms jurisdiction over the case, it is possible that the child would be evaluated so that the judge could make a decision that is in her best interests. However, young children may have trouble maintaining strong relationships with both parents if they do not see them often enough, so creating a parenting plan that allows both parents to see them often is essential.

When two busy parents decide to get a divorce, resolving child custody disputes can be difficult, especially if the child is very young. A family law attorney may make strong arguments when asking the judge to give a parent joint or primary custody. In some cases, the attorney may provide evidence that the parent was the primary caregiver while the couple was still together. If the child will be primarily living with the other parent, the attorney may draft up an appropriate parenting plan that allows the parent to still be heavily involved in the child's upbringing.

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

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