What began as private divorce negotiations between Scarlett Johansson and her estranged husband Romain Dauriac has become a public battle — and now he’s blaming her busy schedule for complicating custody arrangements.
Dauriac’s lawyer Hal Mayerson, who previously told PEOPLE his client was “shocked” by Johansson’s divorce filing on Tuesday, now says child custody was a main point of contention during the private negotiations.
Johannson, who travels often for work, is pushing for “hybrid schedules and changing schedules,” according to Mayerson, who says her ideas for custody are not in the best interest of his client. (Dauriac wants their 2-year-old daughter Rose Dorothy to live with him in his native France). In her divorce filing, Johansson asked for primary residential custody.
“No mother or father wants to be the drop-in babysitter for the other parent,” Mayerson argues.
Now that the divorce has been filed with the courts, the attorney says his client will pursue joint custody and primary physical custody, in addition to “economic relief” for child support and counsel fees.
While Dauriac claims he was caught off guard by Johansson’s filing, a source close to Johansson tells PEOPLE the decision was not meant to be malicious.
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“Her team is just following standard legal procedure when you’re going through a divorce,” says the source. “His lawyer seems to be contradicting himself by asking for privacy but then making public statements.”
An insider previously told PEOPLE that “under the law in NYC, the filing of an action for divorce is merely procedural.” The source added, “No request for a judge was made. While her lawyer did request that Scarlett get residential custody, again, for procedural purposes, they preserved all rights she had if they didn’t resolve the case. It wasn’t a secret that the parties were separated. So filing for divorce is no big deal. This is not a hostile act by Scarlett.”
Dauriac’s attorney disagrees with that assessment. He explains, “Filing a divorce action is a serious matter in the state of New York, period” — as it starts the ball rolling on court proceedings.
Meanwhile, Johansson previously issued a statement declaring that she will “never” open up about their split.
“As a devoted mother and private person and with complete awareness that my daughter will one day be old enough to read the news about herself, I would only like to say that I will never, ever be commenting on the dissolution of my marriage,” the statement reads. “Out of respect for my desires as a parent and out of respect for all working moms, it is with kindness that I ask other parties involved and the media to do the same.”