Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise’s Divorce

Posted on July 2, 2012

Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise were once famous for their over-the-top displays of affection. The Boston Globe’s Names Blog reported that, “We knew the ‘Mission Impossible’ star was serious about Holmes when he appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s show and professed his love while jumping up and down on a couch.” That probably would have been my first sign that the marriage wasn’t going to last. Late last week, Holmes shocked Cruise by filing for a divorce. In 2006, Holmes was accompanied by a Church of Scientology “chaperone” to an interview with W Magazine. I would wager that, unlike Cruise, the W reporter was not shocked to hear of the divorce.

Holmes’ filing for a divorce is a good reminder of what a many family law attorneys learn and relearn on the job every day: we never know what goes on in the depths of other people’s relationships. Each family and each relationship is a closed system. Outsiders only have access to what happens on the surface. As TomKat have taught us well, surfaces are deceiving, and we outsiders are fools to judge other people’s relationships.

One interesting legal point amongst all the gossip is the choice of forum: Katie Holmes chose to file for divorce in New York, where the court is not as allergic to grants of sole custody as are California courts. In California, the court only grants sole custody in rare circumstances where it finds that joint custody is not in the best interests of the children.