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Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are seeking a divorce after almost six years of marriage.
It looks like there won't be a happy ending for TomKat and it looks like Holmes is the one who wants out. She filed for divorce on Thursday, June 28. The couple has quite a few assets to split, including a huge house in Beverly Hills, and they both have sizable incomes from their acting careers.
Not only that, they'll have to figure out how to share their 6-year-old daughter Suri Cruise.
The couple lives in Beverly Hills so you would expect California law to be applied to the separation of assets. That said, it will depend on where the divorce case is litigated. Subsequent news reports today have stated that Holmes may have filed anonymously in New York, Reuters reports. Cruise recently showed up alone to premieres for his new musical film, "Rock of Ages."
Let's assuming for the moment that California is the venue. California is a community property state, so normally a couple's assets must be split evenly in divorce. Any money earned would be split 50/50 as would any debt either Tom or Katie incurred during their marriage.
But like many celebrity couples, TomKat signed a prenuptial agreement before they tied the knot in 2006.
The Cruise-Holmes prenup wasn't made public but some details about it are known. Katie is entitled to $3 million for each year she was married to Cruise for a sweet total of almost $18 million according to reports from both Gawker and MSNBC. She also gets a "palatial" home in Montecito, California when the split is final.
Since the couple wasn't married for 11 years, the prenup explicitly states that community property laws won't apply to the divorce, MSNBC reports.
That means when the couple parts ways each will keep their respective earnings from the projects they've worked on since November 2006. That's in addition to the $3 million per year Cruise will give to Holmes.
Prenups are not allowed to let one spouse out of child support, even if there are already children. Suri was born several months before her parents married. The amount of child support will likely be up for negotiation.
Holmes filed for primary residential custody of Suri and sole legal custody according to gossip website TMZ. That means only Holmes would have the right to make decisions about Suri's health, school, and other important topics.
Given Tom Cruise's previous divorces, don't expect him to take that lying down. Cruise will likely fight Katie Holmes for greater custody of Suri, both residential and legal. Cruise shares custody of his two other children with ex-wife Nicole Kidman.
[6/29/12 3:19 pm PST Editor's note: This post was updated to reflect subsequent news accounts that Katie Holmes may have filed for divorce in New York.]
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.
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