The news that Katie Holmes had filed for divorce from megastar Tom Cruise hit the Internet and entertainment news outlets like a tsunami. Within seconds, it seems, columnists were speculating about the details of the couple’s split. As with any star couple, questions abounded about prenuptial agreements, property division, the potential for a custody battle, and whether Cruise would offer — or Holmes would accept — any spousal support.
Holmes did not file in California. Instead, she filed on the East Coast, where she and the couple’s 6-year-old daughter live, and she hired a team of attorneys who specialize in high-asset divorces. One divorce attorney not involved with either Cruise or Holmes suggested she avoided California because files are open in this state. Anyone, he said, “can walk into the clerk’s office and get the papers.” In some states, divorce files are sealed — or can be, on request — and not available to the public.
“High-asset” may be understating Cruise’s financial status. Reportedly worth $270 million, Cruise is the highest-paid actor in Hollywood, according to Forbes magazine’s rankings. Estimates put Holmes’ assets closer to $25 million. These are the numbers that have fueled the speculation about a prenuptial agreement.
The same divorce attorney that commented on venue added his thoughts about how a court would handle a prenup. Overall, he explained, courts favor the financial terms of any antenuptial agreement, but they treat anything dealing with children as “aspirational.” Custody and child support provisions in an antenuptial are more statements of intent than binding contract terms.
Holmes is apparently seeking sole custody and will presumably ask for child support. She is also, according to the latest headlines, on the “losing” end of the couple’s prenup, although her representatives say she only wants child support for Suri.
More information is sure to come to light in the next few minutes.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “Tom Cruise’s divorce could get prickly as Katie Holmes lawyers up,” Harriet Ryan and John Horn, June 29, 2012