The unexpected high-profile divorce of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, which was initiated on June 28 and shocked people in Tennessee and elsewhere, has already been settled, just 11 days later. Both are wealthy individuals, with Cruise earning much more than Holmes. According to estimates from Forbes magazine, Cruise earned $75 million in the fiscal year ending in May.
Despite the likelihood that the couple has many shared marital assets, the settlement does not account for any major exchange of wealth from Cruise to Holmes. A prenuptial agreement was signed and adhered to, according to a source familiar with the couple's negotiations. That source went on to say that no significant money or property will be given to Holmes. This is Cruise's third divorce.
At the center of the couple's divorce was their six-year-old daughter, Suri. Holmes has been given the status of primary caretaker and will be in charge of her education as well as her religious upbringing, which many experts believed would be a contentious issue for the couple. Cruise is one of the most prominent members of the Church of Scientology, while Holmes was raised Roman Catholic. Tabloids have reported that Cruise's beliefs got in the way of the marriage, but no reports from the couple have indicated that this is the case.
In fact, the couple released a joint statement saying that they want to keep their family matters private, adding that they respect each other's beliefs and want each other to do well in their roles as parents.
The couple wed in 2006. Their divorce was filed as "Anonymous versus Anonymous," and Cruise had not yet responded in court when settlement negotiations began.
The couple's use of a prenuptial agreement allowed the divorce to proceed quickly. That is a valuable lesson that Tennessee couples can learn from.
Source: Long Island Newsday, "Katie Holmes-Tom Cruise divorce deal lets her control Suri's upbringing, source says," July 10, 2012