Katie Holmes divorce filing: custody will be central issue

Our New York readers have probably already heard the news of the pending divorce of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. Cruise was reportedly blindsided last week when Holmes filed for divorce in New York after five years of marriage. In her filing, Holmes requested sole custody of the couple's 6-year-old daughter Suri. She has stated that her daughter is her "primary concern" in the divorce. Some have speculated that growing concerns about Scientology led her to ask for sole care of her daughter.

Tom Cruise has, according to some news sources, already filed for joint custody in California. It isn't clear how likely Holmes is to be successful in her custody request. Judges know that it is in the best interests of a child to have the care of both parents and it usually takes some form of dangerous or questionable behavior for a judge to deny custody to a parent.

Speculation is ongoing about a possible prenuptial agreement, but Cruise's attorney has not revealed anything as of yet about that. Money does not seem to be the primary concern of Holmes' filing, but it has been widely reported that Holmes could get $3 million out of the split, plus child support. If the prenuptial agreement addresses child support, that portion may not be upheld anyway.

It isn't exactly clear at this point either whether the divorce will actually take place. While the filing took place in New York, it isn't clear whether the residency requirements will be met. Cruise may seek to have the case moved to California.

Source: Reuters, "TomKat Divorce May Set Stage for NY vs. CA Venue Fight," Andrew Chow, July 2, 2012

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