Settlement nips Holmes-Cruise custody dispute in the bud

Some of the most contentious issues in a divorce can be those surrounding children. Every parent will go to great lengths to provide what they believe to be in the best interest of their children. Therefore, when parents perceive that something will harm their children, they fight to protect them. A critical part of all divorces between Illinois couples with children will be child custody.

Since parents have such strong opinions about their children, disputes will often arise. The court can step into settle these disputes if the parties are unable to settle things on their own. There are two main types of custody that courts rule on: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody issues are those surrounding the day-to-day care of the children. Legal custody issues deal with broader issues including religious, medical and educational decisions.

Custody can be either joint, in which both parents have some type of custody, or sole, in which only one parent has decision-making power.

Recently, movie star Katie Holmes filed for divorce from Tom Cruise, her husband of almost six years. The couple has a six-year-old daughter together.

In her initial filings, Holmes asked the court to give her sole legal custody of the couple’s daughter. Observers speculated that Holmes wished to keep her daughter out of the Church of Scientology. Cruise is an important member of the Church of Scientology, which has strict lifestyle and educational requirements.

To the surprise of many, the two parties came to a confidential agreement this week, heading off a potentially lengthy and costly court case. Those with knowledge of the settlement say that Holmes will have primary custody of the girl while Cruise will receive visitation rights.

Source: People, “Tom Cruise Divorce: Suri to Live Primarily with Katie Holmes,” Mike Fleeman, July 9, 2012