A Private Agreement for a Very Public Couple: Katie and Tom’s Divorce Settlement

by Peter Magee on August 1, 2012

Peter Magee

The Telegraph, London, reported on 10 July 2012 that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes have reached a very private settlement in relation to their divorce.

The settlement was reached within 11 days after the couple separated.

The article reports that Cruise, in particular, was keen to avoid a drawn out Court case that would have detailed his involvement in Scientology.

Previous tabloid news had reported that part of the reason for the couple’s separation was due to differences in religion, in particular the involvement of Suri in the Scientology church.

The couple released a joint statement which says: “We are committed to working together as parents to accomplish what is in our daughter Suri’s best interests.” Currently Katie Holmes is living in a three bedroom apartment in New York with Suri, while Cruise is based in Los Angeles with his two adopted children, Connor (17) and Isabella (19).

The couple also released a joint statement: “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.”

Although the settlement has been kept private, apparently it involves Suri living primarily with Katie, but Tom being able to spend significant time with Suri as well. The negotiations in relation to the divorce appear to be very amicable as Holmes’ lawyer, Jonathan Wolfe, said: “We thank Tom’s Counsel for their professionalism and diligence that helped bring about this speedy resolution.”

In terms of financial arrangements, Holmes previously signed a pre-nuptial agreement before the marriage five years ago which means she is unlikely to receive the large property settlements that previous wives of Hollywood superstars may have received. Katie has also stated that she wants to “earn her own money” from her acting career. Bert Fields, Cruise’s lawyer, apparently said: “Tom is really pleased we got there, and so am I.”

Interestingly, although the couple are one of the highest profile Hollywood couples (or rather former couples) in the business, they have opted to sign a private agreement to resolve the matter out of Court.

Many people, whether celebrities or not, prefer to settle their family law matter outside of Court. One way this can be done is by filing “Consent Orders” with the Court. Another way is by the signing of a “Binding Financial Agreement.” Different types of agreements will be more or less appropriate in the circumstances. It is important to have any agreement that you and your ex partner reach documented properly in a legally enforceable way, otherwise there is a risk that they may seek to change this agreement later on.

At Armstrong Legal, we frequently assist parties with resolving their family law matter out of Court. There are many options prior to going to Court to help you and your ex partner come to an agreement which can later be documented. These include round table settlement conferences and mediation, which can assist parties to settle the matter without the stress and expense of litigation.

If you are looking to resolve your family law matter outside of Court, please come and see us at Armstrong Legal and we can discuss what options are available to you. Please contact us on 9261 4555.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: