Blindsided: Lessons Learned from Scarlett Johansson’s Rollercoaster Divorce

Earlier this month, it was quietly announced that Scarlett Johansson and husband Romain Dauriac had privately negotiated and finalized their divorce.  This may have caught people off guard, but not for the reason you might think. It was no shock they were divorcing, it was announced earlier this year.  The fact that their marriage ended in an office, and not a courtroom, does come as a surprise.

For many, the Courtroom is a last resort.

The legal side of divorce does not have to be a battle in the courthouse.  Couples like Johansson and Dauriac choose less adversarial alternatives like negotiation or mediation all the time.  For anyone contemplating divorce, it’s critical to know these legal options, as long as you understand they aren’t set in stone.  Romain Dauriac learned this the hard way.

What started out as a discreet divorce negotiation veered into the courts in a big way when Johansson left the negotiating table and filed divorce paperwork in a New York family court.   Dauriac was reportedly “blindsided.”  He shouldn’t have been.

Don’t be shocked when your divorce veers in a new direction, it happens a lot.

 Just because a divorcing couple chooses one legal option, like negotiation, doesn’t mean they won’t end up somewhere else. In fact, a case may bounce from the negotiation table to the courtroom and back again (it certainly did here).  The process is fluid.  Understanding this in advance will help minimize the emotional toll that comes if your divorce changes directions. It might of prevented Dauriac from letting his emotions get the better of him.

Your feelings about divorce may change.

An emotional lesson to be learned from this story is that the way you feel at the beginning of a divorce is not necessarily the way you may feel later on.  Dauriac stated that he resented ScarJo making their situation public by posting about it on social media.

While you may not be in the public spotlight—as this couple is—all manner of social media is available to you as well, and many women use it to air their feelings, including how they are feeling about their divorce or their wusband.

On social media, everyone is watching.

What you should consider is that your children, friends, business colleagues, and family members also have access to social media.  What you say and what you post may have long-lasting effects on your ability to successfully co-parent later when emotions are not as high. It may affect the confidence and security your children have in you.  It may cause you to appear emotionally unbalanced.

Because these emotions are usually driven by fear—in the case above, perhaps due to the suggestion that Duriac was considering moving to his native France with their three year-old daughter—it is much healthier to process the true emotions underneath the anger, bitterness, or resentment.  Do you have financial fears? Fears about your children’s security or well-being? Fears about starting over? Fear that you weren’t enough? 

Before you air your family’s private affairs, please consider taking an interior look.  You’ll be much happier and healthier in the long run.