In an example of life imitating art, Scarlett Johannsen has found herself in the middle of a civil war. The Captain America: Civil War star has been embroiled in a now public child custody dispute with her estranged husband, Romain Dauriac.  The two celebrities were negotiating a settlement behind closed doors. However, since filing for divorce in New York on March 7, Johannsen’s custody battle over her 2 year old daughter has become very public. Many speculate Johannsen’s divorce filing was a preemptive strike by her legal team to ensure that New York had jurisdiction over the child custody and potential relocation dispute. Dauriac has stated that he intends to move back to Paris with the couple’s daughter if he is awarded custody.

Under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (“UCCJEA”), the court of jurisdiction is wherever the child has resided for the previous six months. In most states, including Pennsylvania, the custodial parent is unable to simply pick up and move a minor away from the noncustodial parent without the consent of the noncustodial parent or an order from the court. Under Pennsylvania law, a parent who intends to move away must give written notice by certified mail at least 60 days in advance (or 10 days if it is an emergency and the move cannot be delayed). The written notice must provide specific details about the move, including the new address, phone number(s), name of the new school, date of the move, reason for the move and a proposed custody schedule for the non-moving parent. The non-moving parent has 30 days to file a written objection which will trigger an expedited hearing in the Court.


Whitelaw, Bob Robert I Whitelaw has extensive experience in a wide variety of issues relating to marriage and family law, including division of property, alimony, tax matters, child custody, visitation and support, prenuptial agreements, adoption and paternity and same-sex divorce and custody matters. He was selected by Best Lawyers in America and was named as one of Pennsylvania’s Top 100 Lawyers and Philadelphia’s Top 100 Lawyers by Super Lawyers®, 2010 Family Lawyer of the Year Law and a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Mr. Whitelaw works out of Obermayer’s Philadelphia, PA office and he can be reached 215-665-3206 or at Robert.Whitelaw@obermayer.com.

Weiner, MMaris J. Weiner concentrates her practice in the area of family law where she handles all phases of negotiation and litigation of domestic relations cases, including divorce, custody, support, equitable distribution, adoption, and prenuptial agreements. Her office resides in the firm’s Philadelphia, PA office. She can be reached at 215-665-3103 or at Maris.Weiner@obermayer.com.