If you haven't heard (yeah right) that Katie Holmes has filed for divorce from Tom Cruise, surprise! They have! Holmes filed for divorce in New York, where she has an apartment, according to the Huffington Post.
It seemed so perfect, didn't it? Only 17 years separated the two, making Cruise old enough to be Holmes' father, albeit a young one. Now it is Cruise's actual fatherhood that is being speculated to be the reason for the split. The press also speculates the filing is happening in New York for the state's child custody rulings, according to TMZ.
So what would happen here in Texas?
First of all, Texas law is similar to the California law that Holmes is attempting to avoid. In Texas, as well as California, joint custody is favored over sole custody in the situation of a divorce. This means that even if the parents were constantly fighting while married, that they are expected to still be able to agree for the benefit of their child or children.
In Texas, child custody is granted based on the best interests of a child. The best interests is a mix of factors that a judge weighs and is based on evidence provided by the parents. If the child is over 12, they will be interviewed and given the chance to show a preference of guardian.
Here, Suri is only 6, so her opinions would have less weigh in Texas. So ultimately it would come down to the decision of the trial judge to determine who would have custody of her. If Holmes was lucky, she may get a judge that believes Scientology could play a problematic role in her upbringing and decide to limit Cruise’s parental abilities to make medical, educational and other important decisions.
If custody was given solely to Holmes, Cruise would not have an easy time appealing, unless there was absolutely no evidence that Holmes provided to back up her claims that she was better suited to care for the child.
Now that the papers are filed, all there is to do this July 4th week is to sit back and watch the TomKat divorce fireworks.
- Need a Houston Family Lawyer? (FindLaw)
- Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes Divorce: Who Will Get What? (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice)
- Brown Divorce: No Winners So Far in Child Custody Dispute (Houston Family Law Blog)