As is the case with every divorce, sometimes things can get kind of ugly and chippy right after the initial break. Now imagine trying to work out complicated financial, property and child custody issues when one half of the couple happens to be one of the world’s biggest movie stars and his controversial religion gets dragged into the proceedings.
But after a week in which both sides traded some sharp barbs in the press, it appears that things have calmed down a bit between Katie Holmes, 33, and Tom Cruise, 50, and divorce settlement negotiations have begun.
TMZ reports that the warring parties have called a temporary truce while their lawyers try to hammer out an agreement. At this time, there are no plans for either side to go to court, but if things can’t be figured out before July 17 there is an order to show cause hearing that has been set by Holmes’ lawyers for Manhattan family court.
Before then, lawyers will continue to work on the main issues in the wake of the dissolution of the couple’s five-year marriage: child custody, visitation and child support for the pair’s 6-year-old daughter, Suri Cruise, as well as property settlement.
TMZ added that the settlement could be ratified in New York if things continue amicably, which means that Cruise’s team may not try to transfer the proceedings to California, where judges are more likely to award joint custody.
The couple released a joint statement on Monday (July 9) in which they asked for privacy as they work on the custody arrangement. “We are committed to working together as parents to accomplish what is in our daughter Suri’s best interests. We want to keep matters affecting our family private and express our respect for each other’s commitment to each of our respective beliefs and support each other’s roles as parents,” read the statement.
To date, though, neither actor has released a public statement detailing their feelings about the surprise split, but Cruise’s high-powered attorney, Bert Fields, told BBC News that his client will file his own divorce papers, but is waiting for Holmes’ side to stop “play[ing] the media” before he tells his story about the end of his third marriage.
“Tactically we can’t say where Tom will file a divorce case and if he’ll be seeking joint custody of Suri,” Fields said. “We are letting ’the other side’ (Katie and her team), play the media until they wear everyone out and then we’ll have something to say … It’s not Tom’s style to do this publicly. He is really sad about what’s happening.”
People magazine speculated that the custody agreement will likely have Suri living in New York with Holmes, with Cruise getting “generous” visitation rights.
Holmes filed first, citing irreconcilable differences and asking for sole custody of Suri. The actress is moving ahead with her big-screen career in the meantime, reportedly starting work on the film “Molly” next week. In the movie she co-wrote and is co-producing, Holmes will play a newly single mom with a young daughter living in New York. She is also working on her first-ever fashion show for New York fashion week from her Holmes & Yang line.