Cruise and Holmes in March 2011.
1. Katie filed in New York, citing “irreconcilable differences,” which just became legal in the state in 2010.
Before then, people who wanted to divorce in New York had to claim such wrongs as cruelty, abandonment, or adultery to get out of their marriages. New York was the only state in the country without so-called “no-fault” divorce.
Michael Stutman, an attorney and author of How To Divorce in New York, told BuzzFeed Shift that New York state recognizes “celebrity status” as an asset, while California (where Holmes and Cruise have a home) does not. That means Holmes could claim that she’s entitled to money for helping burnish Cruise’s celebrity status through their marriage. Stutman said that because of this, Cruise might challenge the venue of the divorce and ask that it be moved to a California court.
2. She filed anonymously.
TMZ reports, “Katie’s divorce petition was filed anonymously, without names.” Stutman explained that an anonymous filing in a case like this is called an “anonymous caption,” and would mean the case is referred to in official documents as Anonymous vs. Anonymous or K.H. vs. T.C.. The main purpose of this is to make it more difficult for journalists and others to track the case using New York’s electronic case-tracking system — the decision will still be public, and a careful reader will still be able to find clues revealing who the parties are. Stutman also said that simply being a celebrity isn’t enough to get an anonymous caption in New York — you usually need to prove that having your name on the case will pose a risk to your personal safety or that of your children.
3. She wants custody of Suri.
Holmes is apparently seeking sole legal custody and “primary residential custody” of six-year-old Suri. She’ll also be asking for child support.
4. By the terms of their prenup, she should get at least $15 million.
Like any sensible incredibly wealthy couple, TomKat signed a prenuptial agreement before they got married. Theirs reportedly guaranteed her $3 million for every year they stayed married up to 11 years, at which point she’d get half his assets. They’ve been married five years, so she’s entitled to at least $15 million. Cynics might wonder why she didn’t stick it out for 11 years and collect the big paycheck — but New York divorce lawyer Vikki Zeigler tells HollywoodLife she could still clean up in child support payments: “She’ll have to show that Suri has nannies, cars, activities, clothes, hair appointments. That a hefty amount each month is needed to maintain Suri’s lifestyle.”
Cruise and Holmes with Suri at their 2006 wedding.
5. She reportedly blames Scientology.
Holmes apparently doesn’t want Suri raised Scientologist. Several media outlets are opining that this divorce is part of a larger PR nightmare for the religion, combined with high-profile defections and allegations against John Travolta by masseurs.
Cruise in February.
6. Cruise was still saying all was well in May.
He told Playboy, “She is an extraordinary person, and if you spent five minutes with her, you’d see it. I’m just happy, and I have been since the moment I met her. What we have is very special.”